Im not endorsing any of the candidates for National Party leader. Im sorry to disappoint, but Ive been very fortunate to work with all of those who are either in or are thinking about contesting, and I dont think itd be appropriate for me to declare a preference one way or the other. While I have my preferences on who Id like to see, and I have my reckons on who I think will win, what is ultimately more important to me is to see an change in the direction and tone that the National Party takes in the two and a half years leading up to the 2020 election.
The top US admiral in the Pacific has said that if the United States does not keep pace with Chinas investment in military technologies, the American military will eventually struggle to compete with Chinese armed forces.
China is a rapidly growing regional military power and is seeking to expand its global influence, Admiral Harry Harris told the House Armed Services Committee.
If the US does not keep pace [Pacific Command] will struggle to compete with the Peoples Liberation Army on future battlefields, he said.
He added that China is using military modernization, influence operations and predatory economics to coerce neighbouring countries to reorder the Indo-Pacific to their advantage.
Chinas intent is crystal clear, Mr Harris said, suggesting that the nations is working to replace the US as the security partner of choice for countries in the region.
He continued: We ignore it at our peril. These types of aspirational goals could be appropriate for a nation of Chinas stature, but judging by Chinas regional behaviour I am concerned that China will now work to undermine the rules-based international order, not just in the Indo-Pacific but on a global scale.
On Wednesday, US intelligence chief Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee that malign actors like Russia and China would continue to use several tactics, such as cyber warfare, to challenge US influence around the globe.
Last week, Mr Trump signed a bipartisan budget deal that significantly boosted defence spending.
The President on Wednesday, speaking of the budget agreement, said were extremely happy with the bill that was passed, because it takes care of our military.
Our military will b...