scott morrison
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

The long search for a stable object of nemesis has ended.

Thwarting China’s rise is now the organising principle of Australian defence and national security policy.

Defence Update 2020 (DU20), released on July 1, fits into the framework of the Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific Strategy Report of mid-2019. That document described China as a “revisionist power” which “undermines the international system from within,” “militarizes the South China Sea,” “employs non-military tools coercively”, and can conduct “increasingly complex operations in domains such as cyberspace, space, and electronic warfare operations.”