14 March 2023 - AUKUS submarine deal
Aukus deal: US, UK and Australia agree on nuclear submarine project
Kathryn Armstrong, Frances Mao & Tom Housden (BBC News, 14/03/2023)
The US, UK and Australia have unveiled details of their plan to create a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, aimed at countering China's influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Under the Aukus pact Australia is to get its first nuclear-powered subs - at least three - from the US.
The allies will also work to create a new fleet using cutting-edge tech, including UK-made Rolls-Royce reactors.
FACT SHEET: Trilateral Australia-UK-US Partnership on Nuclear-Powered Submarines
(The White House, 13/03/2023)
On March 13, 2023, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom, and President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. of the United States announced an arrangement for Australia to acquire a conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) capability through the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) enhanced security partnership.
With AUKUS, Australia has wedded itself to a risky US policy on China – and turned a deaf ear to the region
Matt Fitzpatrick (The Conversation, 14/03/2023)
Much has been made of Australia’s renewed engagement with Asia and the Pacific since Labor came to power.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong’s “charm offensive” in the Pacific was seen as the beginning of a new process of listening to the region, not dictating to it. Labor’s Asia-Pacific policy has also been hailed as striking a balance between the US and China.
In announcing the AUKUS submarine deal in the US this week, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese emphasised it was aimed at allowing nations in the region to “act in their sovereign interests free from coercion” and would “promote security by investing in our relationships across our region”.
China says Aukus submarines deal embarks on ‘path of error and danger’
Amy Hawkins and Rhoda Kwan (The Guardian, 14/03/2023)
China has accused the US, UK and Australia of embarking on a “path of error and danger” in response to the Aukus partners’ announcement of a deal on nuclear-powered submarines.
“The latest joint statement from the US, UK and Australia demonstrates that the three countries, for the sake of their own geopolitical interests, completely disregard the concerns of the international communities and are walking further and further down the path of error and danger,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during a regular press briefing on Tuesday.