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WAR WITH CHINA WILL BE A CATASTROPHE FOR AUSTRALIA

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 TUES 11 MAY 2021

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

http://www.pndnsw.org.au/

HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT

https://www.facebook.com/Human-Survival-Project-388802504634024

WAR WITH CHINA WILL BE A CATASTROPHE FOR AUSTRALIA

GOVT SHOULD TREAD CAREFULLY ON CHINA, TAIWAN.

The Australian Government must move extremely carefully on relations with China and Taiwan, as a war with China – especially a 'great power war' involving the US – unless it remained limited in scope, could escalate to a global catastrophe that could easily go nuclear. Australia, especially if it involved itself directly, would be in the direct firing line, both because of the US nuclear command and control facilities at Pine Gap and Northwest Cape, (known for decades to be nuclear targets) and because Australian cities could be targeted.

Australia has much invested in peaceful relations with China, both in terms of trade and because we should not wish to have an adversarial relationship with anyone, least of all someone who can turn our major cities to incandescent gas.

Above all however, Australia must avoid involvement in a 'great power war', that is a war involving China and the US and possibly involving Russia. Such a war could be triggered by a number of events ranging from renewed hostilities in Ukraine with Russia, by clashes over FONOPS in the South China Sea, and by clashes over Taiwan. In this connection it should be noted that our 'extended deterrence' relationship with the US will be of precisely no use at all since it is exactly that relation that makes us a target. Australia will be much safer without the extended deterrence relationship.

A great power war above all, has the potential to escalate to the use of strategic nuclear weapons.

The Joint Facilities at Pine Gap and NW Cape would be targeted literally in the first minutes of a major, strategic, nuclear exchange.

However, Australian cities also contain facilities that are of military significance, and could also be targeted in 'counter-value' strikes, in which millions of Australian citizens could die. In a global thermonuclear war such as war with China could so easily become, Australian cities and joint facilities would also be targeted by Russia. In such an exchange, Australia could lose as much as half its population in around an hour.

There are other complicating dimensions to any war involving Taiwan.

Some 60% of the words semiconductor devices are made in Taiwan. Loss of that production capacity would set at risk the entire technological revolution of the past 20-30 years.

The Morrison Government (and any Australian Government) must tread carefully. It cannot be denied that the 'wolf-warrior' diplomacy of recent years is less than user-friendly. However, Australia itself has at times been less than tactful.

Australia must not lightly speak of going to war with China. War with China will if it takes place be a global catastrophe, and an Australian catastrophe.

Australian diplomacy should rather be focussed on what it takes to avoid a big power war, and to diminish the likelihood of global thermonuclear war. One excellent way to do that is for Australia to prioritise nuclear risk reduction, and in particular, No First Use of nuclear weapons, noting that China officially endorses precisely such a policy.

John Hallam

Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner

People for Nuclear Disarmament/Human Survival Project

Co-Convenor, Abolition 2000 Working Group on Nuclear Risk Reduction

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