Essential Report

Concern about military conflict with China

May 11, 2021

Q. In the past month, diplomatic tensions between Australia and China have increased, with Australia investing $750M to improve Australian Defence Force training facilities in the Northern Territory and Defence Minister Peter Dutton saying that a war with China over Taiwan should not “be discounted”.

To what extent are you concerned about Australia engaging in a military conflict with China in the near future?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Extremely concerned 18% 18% 18% 11% 21% 21% 18% 18% 23% 17%
Very concerned 21% 22% 21% 20% 23% 21% 21% 21% 22% 27%
Fairly concerned 36% 32% 39% 43% 29% 36% 38% 35% 25% 36%
Not very concerned 19% 21% 17% 19% 20% 18% 19% 18% 25% 19%
Not at all concerned 6% 8% 5% 7% 7% 5% 4% 8% 5% 1%
TOTAL: Concerned 39% 40% 39% 31% 44% 41% 39% 39% 45% 44%
TOTAL: Not concerned 25% 28% 22% 26% 27% 23% 23% 26% 31% 21%
Base (n) 1,092 536 556 340 372 380 371 400 109 111
  • 39% of Australians are concerned about Australia engaging in a military conflict with China in the near future, with 18% extremely concerned. 36% are fairly concerned, and a quarter (25%) are not concerned.
  • Those 18-34 are less likely to be concerned about this than older cohorts (31% to 44% of those 35-54 and 41% those over 55).

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