Tag Archives: International / National Security

Australia will increase its military base, expand the war game with the US | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia will spend A $ 747 million ($ 580 million) to upgrade four military bases in the north and expand the war game with the United States, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will say on Wednesday.

The airstrip in the Northern Territory will be extended to support larger aircraft, firing ranges overhauled and new training facilities set up for US defense and marine personnel, according to excerpts from the announcement seen by Reuters.

“Working with the United States, our allies and Indo-Pacific neighbors, we will continue to advance Australia’s interests by investing in the Australian Defense Force,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison will say.

“Our focus is on pursuing peace, stability, and a free and open Indo-Pacific, with a world order that favors freedom.”

The military upgrade will begin this year and finish in 2026.

The prime minister’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The US Embassy in Canberra did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Australia and the United States hold biannual war games, which are further scheduled to start in August.

Typically, more than 30,000 troops participate in drills off Australia’s east coast.

One of Australia’s most senior security officials earlier this week said liberal democracies must prepare for war.

Home Department Secretary Mike Pezzullo did not specify a catalyst for his warning but it followed a sharp deterioration in Australia’s relations with China and rising regional tensions over Taiwan.

Relations between Australia and China have deteriorated since Canberra called for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, prompting retaliatory trade from Beijing.

Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton on Sunday said the conflict between China and Taiwan “must not be ignored”.

($ 1 = 1.2870 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Renju Jose in Sydney and Colin Packham in Canberra; Edited by Stephen Coates

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Australia will increase its military base, expand the war game with the US | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia will spend A $ 747 million ($ 580 million) to upgrade four military bases in the north and expand the war game with the United States, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will say on Wednesday.

The airstrip in the Northern Territory will be extended to support larger aircraft, firing ranges overhauled and new training facilities set up for US defense and marine personnel, according to excerpts from the announcement seen by Reuters.

“Working with the United States, our allies and Indo-Pacific neighbors, we will continue to advance Australia’s interests by investing in the Australian Defense Force,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison will say.

“Our focus is on pursuing peace, stability, and a free and open Indo-Pacific, with a world order that favors freedom.”

The military upgrade will begin this year and finish in 2026.

The prime minister’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The US Embassy in Canberra did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Australia and the United States hold biannual war games, which are further scheduled to start in August.

Typically, more than 30,000 troops participate in drills off Australia’s east coast.

One of Australia’s most senior security officials earlier this week said liberal democracies must prepare for war.

Home Department Secretary Mike Pezzullo did not specify a catalyst for his warning but it followed a sharp deterioration in Australia’s relations with China and rising regional tensions over Taiwan.

Relations between Australia and China have deteriorated since Canberra called for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, prompting retaliatory trade from Beijing.

Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton on Sunday said the conflict between China and Taiwan “must not be ignored”.

($ 1 = 1.2870 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Renju Jose in Sydney and Colin Packham in Canberra; Edited by Stephen Coates

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New Zealand’s central bank launches cybersecurity guidelines | Instant News


SYDNEY, April 28 (Reuters) – The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) on Wednesday outlined guidelines for boosting the cyber defense of the country’s financial sector after cyber attacks earlier this year led to a massive data breach at the central bank.

“These guidelines apply to all entities regulated by the Reserve Bank, including registered banks, licensed non-bank depositors, licensed insurance companies and designated financial market infrastructure,” RBNZ said in a statement.

The cyber attacks in January violated the central bank’s data systems and also affected users of other third-party applications. (Reporting by Renju Jose Editing by Chris Reese)

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The UK trade minister said visiting Australian partners would receive a warm welcome | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: UK trade minister Liz Truss speaks to Reuters after signing a free trade agreement with Singapore, in Singapore, December 10, 2020. REUTERS / Pedja Stanisic // File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – UK trade minister Liz Truss said on Wednesday that he hopes to give his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan a warm welcome on his upcoming visit to Britain to discuss a new trade deal.

“I hope to give Minister Tehan a warm welcome and build on the good progress we have made,” he said.

“We want a gold standard agreement that increases exports, encourages investment, supports jobs and breaks new ground in modern fields such as services and digital trade.”

Reporting by James Davey; edited by William James

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New Zealand said it was “uncomfortable” with the expansion of the Five Eyes | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand has said it is “uncomfortable” with expanding the role of Five Eyes, a post-war intelligence group that also includes the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada, which China has recently criticized.

FILE PHOTOS: New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta speaking during an interview in Wellington, New Zealand December 15, 2020. REUTERS / Jonathon Molloy

China is New Zealand’s biggest trading partner, and Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in her speech that New Zealand was looking for predictable diplomatic relations.

New Zealand will feel the need to talk about issues it disagrees with China, including developments in Hong Kong and the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, he said in his speech on Monday to the state-funded Chinese Council of New Zealand.

In subsequent comments to the media reported by the New Zealand Newshub, Mahuta said New Zealand did not support the Five Eyes call to “address issues that are completely outside the powers of the Five Eyes”.

“We are not comfortable with extending Five Eyes’ powers,” he said.

China’s foreign ministry has repeatedly criticized Five Eyes, after all members issued a joint statement on the treatment of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy legislators in November.

Last month, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said “The Five Eyes have taken coordinated steps to gang up on China”, after Australia and New Zealand issued a joint statement on Xinjiang.

Last year, Five Eyes discussed cooperation beyond intelligence sharing, including in the areas of critical technology, Hong Kong, the supply chain and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a 2020 statement by Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

Mahuta’s office told Reuters they were unable to provide a copy of his comments on Five Eyes.

Payne will travel to New Zealand on Wednesday for a meeting with Mahuta and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the first diplomatic visit between neighboring countries since the two-way reopening of the border.

Canberra has recently experienced more rocky relations with Beijing than Wellington, with Australia’s trade minister unable to contact his Chinese counterpart as exporters are subject to multiple trade sanctions from China.

The diplomatic row between China and Australia worsened in 2020 after Canberra lobbied for an international investigation into the source of the coronavirus pandemic.

China and New Zealand stepped up a free trade agreement in January, when, Mahuta said, trade ministers had made “constructive” calls.

Reporting by Kirsty Needham; Edited by Michael Perry

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