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Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John wants Australia to halve defense spending despite threat from China

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A political party that could decide who forms Australia’s next government wants its defense budget cut in half, despite thunderous threats from China.

The Greens have released a new policy requiring defense spending to make up just 1 percent of Australia’s economy.

Senator Jordon Steele-John, the party’s spokesman for peace and disarmament, wants defense spending to be cut by $312 billion by 2026 so more money can be spent on housing commission blocs and mental health services.

The Perth-based senator for Western Australia also wants US military bases in Australia closed, including the satellite and missile surveillance complex at Pine Gap near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

A party that could decide who forms Australia’s next government wants its defense budget cut in half, despite China threatening to fire missiles (pictured is Greens senator Jordon Steele-John with party activists)

Senator Jordon Steele-John, the party's disarmament spokesman, wants defense spending to be cut by $312 billion by 2026 so more money can be spent on housing commission blocs and mental health services

Senator Jordon Steele-John, the party’s disarmament spokesman, wants defense spending to be cut by $312 billion by 2026 so more money can be spent on housing commission blocs and mental health services

“We must renew our commitment to peace, disarmament and demilitarization. Australia must work for a peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world,” he said on Facebook.

The Greens have updated their website – under the headline ‘Australians want peace’ – to call on the Australian Defense Force to focus instead on tackling climate change.

“Close all foreign military bases in Australia,” it said.

“Renegotiate the US alliance with the terms of a new relationship aimed at making Australia a safer and better citizen of the world.”

The Greens are taking a pacifist line in defense spending, despite China regularly flying into Taiwan’s airspace on orders from President Xi Jinping.

The communist power also promises to keep Taiwan under control by 2025, strongly hinting that it would resort to war to achieve this, which would almost certainly force Australia to support a US-led mission.

dr. Andrew Carr, Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defense Studies Centre, said the Greens assumed Australia would not have to defend itself.

“At the heart of the Greens’ new ‘Defense Plan’ is a single gamble: Australia chooses not to try to defend itself and hopes it won’t need to,” he tweeted.

‘That’s a fair guess. Many countries in the world are adopting it. But it remains a big gamble and must be clearly justified.’

The Perth-based Senator for Western Australia also wants US military bases in Australia closed, including the satellite and missile surveillance complex at Pine Gap near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory

The Perth-based Senator for Western Australia also wants US military bases in Australia closed, including the satellite and missile surveillance complex at Pine Gap near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory

The Greens’ announcement was made less than five weeks after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the US and UK had agreed to share nuclear submarine technology as part of a new AUKUS alliance designed to counter China.

The US hadn’t shared its nuclear know-how with another country since 1958, when it signed a Mutual Defense Agreement with Britain.

The Australian government will take 18 months to decide whether to produce the US Virginia-class submarine or the British Astute-class submarine.

The announcement saw the Global Times newspaper, the propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party, threaten a rocket attack on Australia on September 16.

“Chinese military experts warned that such a move could potentially make Australia the target of nuclear strikes if nuclear war breaks out, even if Washington said it would not arm Canberra with nuclear weapons because it would be easy for the US to expel Australia.” rest with nuclear weapons. weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles if Australia has the submarines,” it said.

In the increasingly likely case of a hung parliament, the Greens could decide who forms Australia’s next government.

The Greens have updated their website - under the headline 'Australians want peace' - to call on the Australian Defense Force to instead focus on tackling climate change

The Greens have updated their website – under the headline ‘Australians want peace’ – to call on the Australian Defense Force to instead focus on tackling climate change

Greens leader Adam Bandt is keeping Melbourne’s electorate safe and Morrison’s government had an absolute majority of one seat even before the embattled MP Craig Kelly left the Liberal party in February.

The most recent Newspoll poll in September showed a 4.5 percent turnaround against the Liberal-National coalition, which would lose 10 seats.

Opinion polls overestimate Labor’s support in the 2019 election.

But even a smaller blow to the coalition in 2022 would see Labor gain seats, but not even to form a government of its own.

This would lead to Labor leader Anthony Albanese trying to rely on Mr Bandt and left-leaning independents to form a government, as former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was forced to do in 2010.

The Greens, who managed to legislate a carbon tax policy, could do the same on defense policy.

The Greens' announcement was made less than five weeks after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the US and UK had agreed to share nuclear submarine technology as part of a new AUKUS alliance designed to counter China (pictured is the Chinese President Xi Jinping at a People's Liberation Army parade in Hong Kong in 2017)

The Greens’ announcement was made less than five weeks after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the US and UK had agreed to share nuclear submarine technology as part of a new AUKUS alliance designed to counter China (pictured is the Chinese President Xi Jinping at a People’s Liberation Army parade in Hong Kong in 2017)

dr.  Andrew Carr, a senior lecturer at the Strategic and Defense Studies Center at the Australian National University, said the Greens assumed Australia would not have to defend itself

dr. Andrew Carr, a senior lecturer at the Strategic and Defense Studies Center at the Australian National University, said the Greens assumed Australia would not have to defend itself

Australia’s new AUKUS alliance has led to the scrapping of the $90 billion French Naval Group deal to build 12 diesel-powered submarines, meaning Australia’s defense industry will need uranium.

The next generation of submarines, to be built in Adelaide, will be nuclear-powered in two decades, but not nuclear-powered.

In the 2021-2022 budget, Australian defense spending made up 2 percent of gross domestic product, but the Greens want this to be reduced to 1 percent by 2026.

Senator Steele-John argued that halving defense spending could lead to more money being spent on social housing and mental health care.

“This funding can be used to build 1 million homes and end homelessness,” he said.

‘We could improve ventilation in schools, making our children safe.

“We could get dental and mental health care in Medicare. We could increase income support so that no one in the country has to live in poverty.’

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