Nuclear protection against China: three-way alliance starts submarine cooperation

Nuclear protection from China
Triple alliance starts submarine cooperation

For a partnership with the USA and Great Britain, Australia breaks a multi-billion dollar submarine deal with France. China sees the cooperation as an “extremely irresponsible” threat. The Aukus alliance cooperates anyway.

Australia, the USA and Great Britain have officially started their cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines. In Canberra, Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton signed an agreement with high-ranking diplomats from the United States and Great Britain to exchange sensitive data on nuclear propulsion technology in submarines. It is the first publicly signed agreement between the three states on this technology since they formed their Indo-Pacific alliance called Aukus in September.

The supply of nuclear submarines to Australia is an integral part of Aukus. As a consequence of this alliance, Australia canceled a long-planned, multi-billion dollar submarine deal with France, which sparked outraged reactions from the French government. In the meantime, Paris even withdrew its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra. The EU and Germany also criticized the approach.

After signing the contract, Dutton said that with access to information and experience from the British and US military, Australia would also be “in a position to manage this technology responsibly and reliably”. The information would also help Australia complete an 18-month review period on submarine procurement. Among other things, there is the question of whether the Australian submarines will be built on the basis of British or US construction plans.

Alliance against China’s growing power

The Aukus alliance was concluded with a view to militarily emerging China. Beijing protested the alliance, stating that Aukus was an “extremely irresponsible” threat to stability in the Indo-Pacific region. On Sunday, China’s President Xi Jinping said in view of growing military tensions in the South China Sea: “We must work together to maintain the stability of the South China Sea and make the South China Sea a sea of ​​peace, friendship and cooperation.”

The Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had previously sharply criticized China for using water cannons against Philippine boats in the conflict over the Spratley Islands. Both China and the Philippines and other neighboring countries are making claims to areas in the South China Sea.

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