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Peter Greste tells Tom Elliott what the rise of China means for Australia

Chinese development in the South China Sea are raising eyebrows.

Satellite images indicate that China is building military bases on small islands in the region, though China denies they are bases at all.

But journalist Peter Greste has told Tom Elliott the developments are set up like bases, with runways, storage, and accommodation.

‘If they’re not military installations now, they could pretty quickly be turned into them,’ he said.

Mr Greste, who famously spent a year in Egyptian prison for his reportage while working for Al Jazeera, has compiled a report on the rise of China, and the strain it will put on its relationship with the US and other Asian powers.

The report will air on ABC’s Four Corners on Monday night.

Mr Greste told Tom conflict between China and the US is a more serious risk than we give it credit for.

‘Certainly, I don’t think our politicians and diplomats are paying the kind of attention that it deserves,’ he said.

‘They’re pushing back against US dominance in the region. If trends continue, we’re going to see enormous strain placed on not just the relationship between China and the US, but with all the regional powers, including Japan, Philippines, and South Korea.’ 

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