Navy vs CCP

An Urgent Political Issue Australian Christians Should Be Talking About

19 April 2022


As Communist China becomes increasingly belligerent and exerts its control across the globe, we need to prepare our defence and strategic industries to avert a hostile takeover. At present, Australia is in no shape to keep the CCP at bay by itself.

Since World War II, Australians have enjoyed peace in our region.

But that peace is becoming fragile. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under President Xi Jinping is increasingly aggressive toward those under its control (e.g. mainland China, Hong Kong) and other countries in the region, such as Taiwan, the USA, and Australia.

The CCP has engaged in ‘Wolf Warrior’ diplomacy and economic coercion toward Australia, hurting many of our industries.

And the CCP is expanding militarily to grow its influence in the Pacific. Our Prime Minister has recently warned of an ‘arc of autocracy’ forming between countries like China and Russia to destabilise and re-form the world order into one that suits their authoritarian tastes.

(We can ask the Ukrainians what that looks like).

It’s a fearful prospect. The Chinese military is now the third-largest globally (and growing), with enough firepower to threaten the US-led peace and stability of the Western Pacific. If China invaded Taiwan tomorrow, some analysts now question whether the US could successfully defend Taiwan.

The balance of power in our region is shifting, leaving a country like Australia increasingly vulnerable to military attack.

Should Australian Christians be concerned about this deteriorating political and military situation? Should we engage the conversation about our military preparedness to face a hostile enemy, namely the armed forces of a belligerent communist China?

I think the answer is ‘yes’.

Here’s why.

1) The Bible speaks to the role of government in upholding justice against internal and external evil-doers

According to the Bible, God has designed governments to enforce justice (see Romans 13:1-6).

This involves punishing evil-doers that are under the government’s jurisdiction (Romans 13:2-5). But it stands to reason that upholding justice involves punishing those wanting to do evil to a nation externally.

In other words, a government has God-given authority to wield the ‘sword’ against external aggressors — such as invading armies.

2) Out of love for neighbour, Christians in a democracy should advocate for policies shaped according to the Bible

Christians in democracies like Australia have a (God-given) responsibility to advocate for policies that advance the good and restrain evil.

We should want to do good to our neighbours (Galatians 6:10), and one of the ways is to help shape public policy to be more aligned with a Biblical worldview. Now, the Bible isn’t a public policy manual giving us detailed policies on every area of public life. But it does say some things about some areas of public life.

And one of those areas is the role of government (see the above point).

And so, Christians should take an interest in government, and the role of government, including the government’s ability to uphold justice against evil-doers, both domestic and foreign.

3) Our nation is under increasing threat (and we can’t rely on the USA as we once did)

According to many defence analysts, if China were to threaten Australia directly — a possibility within the next five years — we would be utterly dependent on the US for military assistance.

Our defence force is small and only calibrated to help US Operations overseas in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. (Yes, we are acquiring nuclear submarines — a significant deterrent — but those won’t arrive until the late 2030s). And US assistance depends on political will, which is increasingly uncertain due to turmoil and war fatigue within the US population.

Furthermore, could the US military match the capability of the growing Chinese Navy?

That’s an increasingly open question among defence planners. Old certainties are crumbling. And the new order is increasingly up for grabs.

4) If Communist China were to take over or make us a satellite state, it would be disastrous for things Christians care about

If we were to be occupied by Communist China, life would suddenly become more difficult for most Australians.

The CCP extinguishes meaningful religious and political freedom wherever it’s in power (e.g., see the social credit system and what’s happening in Hong Kong). Justice is distorted by the CCP due to its God-less ideology, taking upon itself authority that only belongs to God.

Truth is the first casualty under such a regime, and the effects of living under a communist system are dehumanising.

(We need to remember that it isn’t just Christians who suffer under such regimes: everybody suffers). Australia would become much poorer (e.g. would the CCP bother paying for our minerals and other raw exports?). And for Christians concerned about Climate Change, how much does the CCP care about net-zero?

Nearly any cause that Christians care about would be adversely affected by war, let alone a CCP takeover.

So what might it look like to take a greater interest in our national defence?

The Big Question: Can current or proposed government defence policy meet the challenges of a belligerent China?

This is an increasingly urgent question.

While both Liberal and Labor are committed to increasing defence spending in the face of an aggressive China, the conversation needs to focus on whether it’s enough or the right kind to resource our national defence. I’ve yet to hear any analyst affirm we’re doing enough in the current climate. Our small defence force of 65K personnel is calibrated for working alongside our American and NATO allies in peacekeeping or small-scale wars.

But against a full-scale military assault on our nation? We wouldn’t last a week.

(Of course, this question departs from the clear directive of the Bible, and so Christians will be free to disagree with the policy details).

So what might a suitable defence policy look like?

Here are some principles that should inform any conversation:

1) The Porcupine Principle: Our Defence Force should deter foreign attacks

We need a defence force that makes any foreign aggressor think twice about invading us.

Just like porcupines can defend themselves against much larger, more dangerous predators due to their spikes, we also need ‘spikes’ that can deter the Apex predator of our region. And such deterrent technology is already available. As veteran foreign affairs journalist Greg Sheridan points out:

The way weak powers hurt strong powers is through what the boffins call “asymmetric warfare”. Or, in other words, tens, hundreds, thousands of little weapons we can afford to lose, unlike the frigates and submarines which we will never risk losing.

But with drones and missiles you can swarm an enemy. This is what the Chinese have done to the Americans. You don’t want 200 new long-range anti-ship missiles which Morrison announced 18 months ago (which we still don’t have by the way), you want 20,000 of them. You want 40,000 missiles in Australia’s north. You want swarms and swarms of cheap drones.

Azerbaijan recently defeated Armenia in a war. Armenia had tanks; Azerbaijan had drones — just about the sort you could buy at Bunnings. As they could send out thousands of them, enough got through and caused the damage.

(One also thinks of the way Ukrainians have used relatively cheap anti-tank missiles to undermine and destroy expensive Russian tanks).

2) How much is our freedom worth?

Building a credible military capable of deterring larger aggressors can be done relatively quickly, but it isn’t cheap.

It will cost money, which could be spent on other priorities like education, hospitals, and social services. Are we as a nation ready to make this investment, even though it might cost us in other areas? The real test is whether we’re willing to pay for it.

In a fallen world, freedom doesn’t come cheap. 

And yet, if we care about our freedom and the freedom of those that come after us, it’s a cost we should be willing to pay.


Originally published at Photo by Pixabay.

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One Comment

  1. Kaylene Emery 21 April 2022 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Thank you for contributing to my understanding of our current situation .
    So many have no frame of reference for the evils of communism which has been sold to them/us under the guise of ‘ a fairer society’.

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