Forget terrorism, China, Russia a threat

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says Russia and China are greater national threat than terrorism. (AAP)

The US thinks China and Russia are a bigger threat to national security than terrorism, a view Canberra appears to be backing.

Australia has slotted behind the US in sharing its concerns that China and Russia are a bigger threat to national security compared to Islamic extremism.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis identified countering China's rapidly expanding military and an increasingly agressive Russia as America's top national security priorities when he released a new strategy earlier in January.

Defence Minister Marise Payne has backed Washington DC's view.

"It is for the US to determine what is of concern in relation to its national security, but I would note that Australia shares similar concerns,'' Senator Payne told The Australian.

Source AAP

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