Australia to modernize its military bases and expand wargames with the United States – the Australian
SYDNEY, April 28 (Reuters) – Australia will unveil an Australian $ 747 million ($ 580 million) defense package on Wednesday to modernize four military bases in its north and expand war games with the United States, a reported the Australian newspaper.
An airstrip in the Northern Territory will be lengthened to accommodate larger planes, revised ranges and new training facilities put in place for US defense personnel and navies, the Australian newspaper reported.
“By working with the United States, our allies and our Indo-Pacific neighbors, we will continue to advance Australia’s interests by investing in the Australian defense forces,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in the report.
The prime minister’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
One of Australia’s top security officials said earlier this week that liberal democracies must prepare for war.
Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo did not specify the catalyst for his warning, but it follows a sharp deterioration in Australia’s relations with China and mounting regional tensions in Taiwan.
Diplomatic relations between Australia and China have deteriorated since Canberra called for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, prompting trade retaliation from Beijing.
Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said on Sunday that a dispute involving China over Taiwan “should not be ruled out”.
$ 1 = 1.2870 Australian dollar Reported by Renju Jose; Edited by Stephen Coates