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Canberra, its allies will lose next decade unless they oppose Beijing in South China Sea, says Aus Defence Minister

China has 20 points of presence in the South China Sea, which does not help stability in the region, says Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton (Image courtesy: Twitter/@PeterDutton_MP)

Canberra and its allies will "lose the next decade" unless they stand up against Beijing in the South China Sea, said Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton.

"I think we have lost a considerable period of time where China gave assurances about their activity in the South China Sea," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Dutton as saying. "And the United States and others acquiesced and allowed the militarisation now to the point where China has 20 points of presence in the South China Sea, which does not help stability in the region," Dutton added.

Stressing on the matter, the Minister said: "If we continue on that trajectory, then I think we shall lose the next decade. And my sense is that we are better off being honest about that."

Expressing his belief, the Minister noted that it was important to speak out about China to educate the Australian public and to ensure the past decade was not repeated in which Beijing had militarised the South China Sea, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Australian Minister also revealed he was extremely confident that Australia would have its first nuclear-powered submarine before 2038.

Dutton said that recent discussions with American and British officials under the AUKUS agreement had reassured him that the submarines would be built years earlier than many defence experts expected.

Emphasising that his focus was on "prevailing peace" in the region, Dutton said that it was important to realise that Australia was not the only country experiencing significant tensions with Beijing.

It came as Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is set to take place in Australia which will witness the presence of the foreign ministers of the Quad nations, the US, India, Japan, Australia.

The Dialogue is expected to intensify co-operation on security and development assistance in a bid to stand up to China. (ANI)

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