A TOP Australian general warned there is a ‘high likelihood’ of war with China, a leaked briefing to troops has revealed.
Major-General Adam Findlay, who has since stepped down from his post but still advises the Australian Defence Force, reportedly gave the confidential briefing to Australia’s special forces soldiers last year.
According to reports from the Sydney Morning Herald, General Findlay said China was already engaged in “grey zone” warfare.
Australia must prepare for the “high likelihood” it could spill over into actual conflict, he said.
“Who do you reckon the main (regional) threat is?” General Findlay reportedly asked his troops and officers before answering: “China.”
“OK, so if China is a threat, how many special forces brigades in China? You should know there are 26,000 Chinese SOF (Special Operations Forces) personnel,” he continued.
The leaked briefing came as Australia’s former chief of operations in Iraq said war with China was a genuine threat.
Writing in The Australian newspaper on Monday, Senator Jim Molan delivered a grim evaluation of Australia’s preparedness for a war he says is “likely”.
Australia is not ready for what’s coming, he warned.
Meanwhile, China’s Global Times newspaper issued a fresh attack on Australia – with the publication of a propaganda poster taking aim at Australian troops.
A poster, published under the headline ‘Troops are leaving, will justice arrive soon?’ was published in the newspaper, which is widely seen as a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party.
The poster, which detailedm alleged war crimes carried out in Afghanistan, comes as Australia prepares to pull out of the country as its allies including the United States do the same.
The poster leans heavily on the bombshell Brereton Report, a four-year ADF inquiry published last year.
The report alleged Australian soldiers carried out 39 murders – including those involving civilians – during the seven-year conflict.
The poster was accompanied by an editorial that read: “An end day was put to the longest war so far as Australia is to pull out all its remaining troops in Afghanistan following accusations of war crimes and the U.S. decision of withdrawal.
“But harm is done, and the scars and wounds will be left open should history was misrepresented, truth veiled again and justice remains undone.”
“The ‘good war Afghanistan’ is just the opposite of its literal sense … Frankly enough, the (Brereton) Report admits that none of these crimes was committed during the heat of battle.
“The victims were noncombatants or no longer combatants. Still, some perpetrators are serving.”
The editorial was expected to further heighten tensions between the two countries.
In September, The Sun Online reported how it was feared China will double its number of city-destroying nuclear warheads in a bid to become a top military power by 2049.
The Pentagon said Beijing's nuke stockpile is currently in the low 200s, although the Federation of American Scientists estimates the figure to be as high as 320.
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