Britain should be “more militarily engaged” in the Asia-Pacific region, the Australian Defence Minister has said.
In her inaugural visit to the UK since taking over as Defence Minister last month, Linda Reynolds said Australian and British military and security capabilities should be “combined for greater effect”, whilst being “attentive to individual priorities”.
In particular, she said the two countries’ intelligence agencies “should be linked more tightly”.
Speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, Ms Reynolds said: “there is no doubt we are currently seeing the biggest realignment of the strategic landscape since World War Two.
“We are also seeing an explosion in new technologies that means that our world is increasingly unshackled from geography.”
Referring to China’s disputed claim to parts of the South China Sea and the Salisbury nerve-agent attack, she said international norms and laws are being “ever more brazenly challenged”.
“All nations should be free of coercion,” she said, stating that the world is challenged by the use of “tactics that resist or flout traditional global norms”.
Situating Australia as the fulcrum of the Indo-Pacific, Ms Reynolds, who’s uncle flew 70 sorties in RAF Bomber Command across three theatres in the Second World War, warned that her country faced “an unprecedented rate of military modernisation and ongoing territorial disputes” with countries such as China.