Defence bosses decline to discuss 'hypothetical' threat of Chinese conflict with United States


Top Defence figures are refusing to be drawn on the "hypothetical" threat of conflict between the United States and China in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

At a weekend Asian security conference in Singapore, Defence Minister Kevin Andrews backed the US condemnation of large-scale Chinese land-reclamation in the critical international waterway.

Foreign policy analysts are now warning of the growing possibility of conflict in the region.

Former soldier turned independent Senator Jacqui Lambie used a Senate Estimates hearing to probe top defence figures about the likelihood of conflict to Australia's north.