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Perfidy and arrogance hallmarks of AUKUS clique

By LI YANG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-06 07:07

US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak deliver remarks on the Australia - United Kingdom - US (AUKUS) partnership, after a trilateral meeting, at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, California US March 13, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with defense chiefs from Australia and the United Kingdom at the US military's defense technology hub in Silicon Valley last week to forge a new agreement to increase technology cooperation and information sharing.

The goal, according to a statement by the three parties, is to better address global security challenges, ensure each can defend against rapidly evolving threats and to "contribute to stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond".

Even before the International Atomic Energy Agency gives a green light to their transfer of nuclear-powered submarine technology, the meeting shows the three countries will jump the gun. Australia will buy three Virginia-class submarines from the United States and build five new AUKUS-class submarines in cooperation with the UK, with the first one due to be completed around 2040 in Adelaide, Australia. Although they claim the submarines, powered by US nuclear technology, will not carry nuclear weapons, it would only take a short time to arm them with nuclear weapons.

In the IAEA discussions on their trilateral nuclear submarine cooperation, representatives from the three countries shamelessly sought to put themselves on the moral high ground, alleging that only those supporting them stand on the right side of human values and history while trying their best to defend the peaceful nature of their collusion, which is anything but.

US officials told the media that Australian Navy officers have already started to undergo nuclear power training at US military schools. Earlier this year the US announced it would expand its military industrial base by helping Australia manufacture guided missiles and rockets for both countries within two years. Under that agreement, they would cooperate on Australia's production of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems by 2025.

Notably, Grant Shapps, the British minister of defense, attending the meeting, directly lashed out at China saying that with China "undermining the freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific, we've never had a greater need for more innovation." He said open navigation of the seas, including in the Pacific and the South China Sea, is critical. That shows clearly the AUKUS is a de facto China-targeted geopolitical tool serving Washington's China-containment strategy.

Apart from their existing bilateral security pacts with regional countries, the US and its allies are quickly militarizing the Asia-Pacific, with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization cooperating with Japan in the north, and AUKUS in the south.

All regional countries should steer clear of the US-orchestrated scheme of turning the Asia-Pacific into another arena for conflict as it has done in Europe and the Middle East. The right orders and rules they need to follow should have the United Nations Charter as their core, rather than the will of Washington.


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