Australian Defence Minister Expresses Close Ties between Australia and the UK

Australia’s new Defence Minister expresses Australian sentiment for closer defence ties with the United Kingdom, highlighting the fact that the Australia-United Kingdom relationship is among the strongest relationship between two countries in the world despite the two countries having the greatest geographical separation. She also highlights the fact that this geographic separation is becoming less relevant day by day as new technologies arise, for example direct flights of less than a day between the UK and Australia are now routine.

Britain should be ‘more militarily engaged’ in the Asia-Pacific region. Few countries can claim ties as close as those between Australia and the UK. We operate and fight together. In short, we trust each other.

Linda Reynolds – Australian Defence Minister

She highlights the enthusiasm for the UK’s participation in the Five Powers Defence Arrangement (FPDA). The five powers include Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom (ANZUK forces), alongside Singapore and Malaysia and states that Australia stands, ready to facilitate and support British forces operating in the area.

Naval Ensigns of the Five Powers Defence Arrangement

The full article is available on the Daily Telegraph:

It should be noted that the call for greater co-operation from Australia comes at a time when tensions are already high within the region. In Hong Kong, city wide protests have been intensifying due to China’s impeachment on the “One Country: Two Political Systems” via the Extradition Bill. The United Kingdom and Canada have already issued a joint statement in light of he proposed changes to the extradition law.

However protesters have not been satisfied with this and have been highlighting that they want more engagement explicitly from the CANZUK countries.

Protesters Raise Hong Kong Blue Ensign in Government Building Defacing Post 1996 Hong Kong emblem (when Hong Kong was handed back to China, against its expressed will). This shows a clear rejection for the Chinese political system and preference for a Common Law Political System. This move also boldly highlights that Hong Kong also clearly desires re-establishment of ties with the CANZUK countries and the Commonwealth.
The Five Powers Defence Arrangement and Hong Kong

Although the CANZUK treaty which calls for freedom of movement, mutual defence arrangements and CANZUK foreign policy proposed by the Canadian Conservative Party has not yet been ratified. CANZUK foreign policy has clearly been recognised by Hong Kong with 12,000 supporters signing a petition to allow British National Overseas citizens to emigrate to CANZUK countries:

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