Via The Australian:
Australia and the US have established a top-secret defence co-operation framework to counter Chinese military aggression, and put Darwin at the centre of future military plans with a new strategic fuel reserve for the city.
The classified defence framework, agreed at high-level talks in Washington, creates a new bilateral team to co-ordinate decisions on joint operations and the deployment of hardware and personnel across the Indo-Pacific.
The nations will also combat Chinese state-sponsored disinformation campaigns through a new joint working group, and support regional partners to reduce the risks of new pandemics arising from wildlife wet markets.
…Amid Chinese trade sanctions and threatened consumer boycotts of Australian products, Mr Pompeo said the US stood firmly alongside its ANZUS ally in the face of bullying by Beijing.
He said the US commended the Morrison government “for standing up for democratic values¬ and the rule of law, despite intense continued coercive pressure from the Chinese Communist Party to bow to Beijing’s wishes”.
Senator Payne…said Australia — which counts China as its biggest trading partner — would make its own decision. “Most importantly from our perspective, we make our own decisions, our own judgments, in the Australian national interest, and about upholding our security, our prosperity, and our values,” Senator Payne said.
Australia stood firm during the talks on resisting US pressure to join freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea within 12 nautical miles of disputed Chinese-claimed features.
So top secret that it was all reported nationwide. If there are any remaining secrets then they should be released forthwith. The AFR is making a song and dance about it.
The Australia-US Ministerial Consultations have been a classic play of the Morrison Doctrine.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds have travelled to Washington in the midst of a global pandemic to deepen Australia’s strategic alliance with the United States against the disruptive rise of China.
But Australia also deals with China and the world on its own distinct terms, fashioned by its different circumstances. That means Australia will not go all the way with Washington as we seek to build a broader regional coalition to maintain a prosperous and secure peace in the neighbourhood.
It is one of those quirks of history that Australia has landed at it’s most consequential strategic moment since WWII governed by a gormless Scummo. This empty marketing mediocrity is now a part of decisions that are so far above his pay grade that they will determine Australian’s fate for generations.
With zero foreign and strategic policy experience, history, training, or, for that matter, interest, somehow a hollow, real-estate worshipping political hack is now putting his name to monumental regime changes for war and peace!
Let’s be thankful that his real influence is irrelevant. We can perhaps see the vacuous marketing hand at work in the refusal to contribute to freedom of navigation adventures. In truth, that doesn’t matter a damn. But it is something we can market to Beijing unless or until it actually comes to war in the South China Sea.
Call it the “Scummo Doctrine” if you like. All it really is is the institutional ballast of ANZUS with a smiley face stamped on it for Beijing that, of course, it will ignore.
It’s all the way with the USA!