Canberra - The chair of the Australian parliament's powerful security and intelligence committee has warned against China's rise, likening Australia's current experience with China to that of France in the face of an aggressive Nazi Germany in the 1940s.
In an opinion piece published on Thursday, Andrew Hastie, a conservative government lawmaker, wrote that Australia faces its biggest economic and national security challenges in the next decade from the rise of China.
"If we don't understand the challenge ahead... choices will be made for us. Our sovereignty, our freedoms, will be diminished," he wrote.
The West once believed economic liberalisation would naturally lead to China becoming a democracy, just as the French believed steel and concrete forts would guard against a German advance in 1940, he said.
"But their thinking failed catastrophically," Hastie, a former SAS captain, said in an op-ed piece in newspapers the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.