View Full Version : Chinese furious at (Australian) military build-up

12-10-2010, 07:41 AM
Chinese furious at military build-up

THE Rudd government publicly played down reports of a hostile Chinese reaction to the defence white paper released last year, while secretly briefing the US that Beijing had threatened Australia would ''suffer the consequences'' if references to China were not watered down.

The revelations of China's true reaction to the paper released in May, which called for a substantial boost in Australia's air and naval power in response to China's increasing military presence in the region, are revealed in secret US government cables written in the same month.

The paper declared China would be Asia's strongest military power ''by a considerable margin'' and warned that the pace and scope of its growth could give its neighbours cause for concern if not properly explained.

The cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and released to the Herald, show US officials contrasting public comments by the Chief of the Australian Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, that China had no problems with the white paper, with a private briefing given to them on China's real reaction by the then deputy secretary of the Defence Department and co-ordinator of the white paper, Mike Pezzullo.

''Although Air Chief Marshal Houston told the media that the Chinese did not express concern over the paper when briefed ahead of its release, press reports and other reporting indicate Beijing reacted very negatively to the implication it could pose a threat,'' a cable on May 13 stated.

On May 7 Air Chief Marshal Houston was reported as saying Chinese officials had raised ''no particular concerns'' about the paper and appreciated being briefed before its release.


12-10-2010, 10:34 AM
I guess it's not OK for Australia to be concerned about the Chinese build-up.