The Australian government is beating the drums of war against China, pushed along by a new defence minister, Peter Dutton, and the hawks within.
Dutton and Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo have escalated a war of words against China to a dangerous new level.
Hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent by the Australian government on a new arms race that includes long-range missiles that can reach China.
This is money that should be better spent on health, welfare education, justice for First Nations people and addressing the climate emergency instead of on handouts to corporate arms dealers.
At the same time, but a little more under the radar, is Australia’s participation in the 50th anniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangements which includes provocative military exercises with Britain, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand this month, culminating with Japan’s military in the South China Sea.
Such war games do nothing to enhance security in the region. It does the opposite and a provocation in this instance could provoke war.
Following nearly 20 years of disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we say no to a new war on China.
Democracy movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong, the persecuted Uighurs and Tibetans and activists within China need our solidarity, but these are not reasons to normalise the possibility of war.
Racism has underpinned the colonial settler state and First Nations peoples and Asian Australians have been targeted ever since. Solidarity with Asian-Australians is urgently needed as racist attacks are rising alongside the war on China propaganda.
Stop the war mongering
Stop the new arms race and the provocative war exercises
No US troops and US bases in Australia
No to racism
* * *
This statement was initiated by Sydney Stop the War Coalition and was released on May 12,
Sign on here.
Stuart Rees, Professor Emeritus University of Sydney
Jenny Leong, Newtown MP, The Greens
David Brophy, senior lecturer University of Sydney
John Tully, Honorary Professor/Educator PhD, College of Arts, Victoria University
Vivienne Porzsolt, Jewish Voices for Peace
Margie Pestorius, The Wage Peace Project Disrupt Land Forces Make West Papua Safe
Marrickville Peace Group
Sylvia Hale, convenor The Greens NSW
Donna Mulhearn, author and former human shield in Iraq
Rowan Cahill, Honorary Fellow, University of Wollongong
Gerry Binder, Australian Veterans for Peace
Dave Burgess, No War artist on Sydney Opera House
Susan Price and Pip Hinman, Green Left