A full-scale Chinese conflict would be “more significant” in scale than the Russian invasion of Ukraine and would lead to more casualties.

That’s the warning from Opposition Leader and former defence minister Peter Dutton, who says Australia should urgently bolster its defences to protect against the inevitable attack.

His latest round of alarmist language comes as tensions continue to mount in the Taiwan Strait after a visit from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

While China’s military has ended its nearly week-long drills, it has vowed to keep conducting patrols in the Taiwan Strait.

The security conditions have been put further on edge after the release of a White Paper and a speech from the Chinese ambassador to Australia, vowing to “reunify” the liberal democratic island of Tawian with “the mother land”.

Mr Dutton said he, like the Albanese government, supported the One China policy and nobody wanted to see conflict.

“That would be a very significant event, more sophisticated than what we’ve seen in Ukraine, more powerful in force,” Mr Dutton told ABC Radio.

“(There would be) more casualties, and that’s not something that anybody wants to contemplate.”

Mr Dutton said Australia should bolster its defences and continue to work stridently with like-minded allies.

He said the West should not back down in calling out China’s behaviour.

“Coming together with allies, and speaking openly and frankly, I think gives us the best chance of allowing China graceful dismount,” he said.

“China have been very clear about their intention … nobody should be surprised by China’s actions if there is an incursion or if there is a conflict because they’ve said that they will be taking back Taiwan – come hell or high water.”

Earlier, former prime minister Kevin Rudd said Ms Pelosi should not have visited Taiwan.

Ms Pelosi was the first high-level US official to visit the self-governing island since the 1990s, and triggered nearly a week of Chinese military drills.

The unprecedented exercises resulted in a joint statement from US, Australia and Japanese ministers, condemning the actions.

China says they are acting within the realm of territorial integrity and sovereignty, and that the visit, and the joint statement contravened the US and Australian “One China” policies.

Mr Rudd said the consensus among the analytical community in the US was that Ms Pelosi’s visit had made the situation worse.

“Nancy Pelosi, as speaker … of course had the right to visit Taiwan. The real question was a practical one was whether it was wise,” Mr Rudd said.

“If you ask yourself this question, from a Taiwanese perspective, is Taiwan and its own national security better or worse after the Pelosi visit? The consensus is that it’s worse.

“China is now being able to war game, effectively, what for the first time what an invasion would look like and therefore change the parameters for a possible military action against Taiwan in the period ahead.”

Mr Rudd said if the US had wanted to effectively stabilise its bilateral relationship with China, Ms Pelosi’s visit had not helped.

“Yes, she had the right to visit … But … was it wise? No, because I think it’s actually made the overall situation worse, both for the Taiwanese and for the overall stability of the US-China relationship,” he said.

Mr Rudd’s comments come a day after the Chinese ambassador addressed the National Press Club, where Xiao Qian threatened a re-education process for the more than 23 million Taiwanese people, to give them a “correct understanding” of China.

Mr Xiao said China was ready “to use all necessary measures” to restore the island to the “motherland”.

Mr Rudd said the Ambassador’s statement was “nothing new”.

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