The government has been absent “for years” on the Chinese question

Former Labor Secretary Graham Richardson said the government had been absent “for years” on the issue of China’s threat to the Pacific.

This comes amid China’s growing influence in the region.

“I think it slipped our minds…obviously the intelligence here just didn’t pick it up,” Mr Richardson told Sky News host Chris Smith.

“There was no attempt to fix it because we didn’t know there was a problem. A terrible intelligence failure.

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