Monday, August 15

US, UK and Australia close nuclear pact to stop China


Correspondent in New York

Updated:

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The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia have reached an agreement to share knowledge and advanced technology in strategic areas, such as nuclear weapons maintenance, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, submarine systems and long-range weaponry. The plan, by which the US and the United Kingdom Australia will participate in many of its advances in these areas, it has the undisguised intention of containing China’s military and strategic expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.

The creation of the group, which will be known as Auukus -the sum of the acronym in English of the three countries-, was scheduled to be presented yesterday by the US president, Joe Biden, in a speech from the White House.

Biden has made it clear since coming to power last January that the great challenge for your country is China, a power that threatens to dispute the dominance of the United States in the last century as the main world power.

Much of its foreign policy is focused on the Asian giant. The recent return of US troops from Afghanistan is the best example of this. As a candidate, Biden promised that he would execute the exit to end a drain on American lives and military spending that spanned two decades. When the evacuation ended in a disaster of chaos, loss of military life and abandonment of former allies, Biden always defended that he had no other option and that it is necessary to focus the United States on the challenges that will mark its presence in the world in The 21st century.

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That is, first of all, China, which expands its political and economic influence in wide regions of the world, from Africa to South America and which has undertaken an aggressive and expansionist military policy in areas of the Pacific such as el South China Sea, where territorial waters are disputed with other countries in the region and where artificial islands have been built to strengthen those claims.

According to several US media yesterday before Biden’s speech, the Auukus agreement includes sharing knowledge about the maintenance of nuclear defense infrastructures.

Balance of power

Specifically, the agreement could serve to provide Australia of nuclear-powered submarines, a key weapon in the balance of forces in the region. The Government of Canberra has an agreement with France for the purchase of twelve submarines for 90,000 million dollars. The project is undermined by delays and rising costs, and last June Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison shared concerns about the progress of the sale with his French counterpart, the president. Emmanuel Macron.

That deal could be replaced by the purchase of US nuclear technology, which could also include the use of US submarines from the Australian navy base in Perth. An article by the Australian Naval Institute argued that the French submarine purchase plan for 2030 “is not good enough” and that an agreement in this area with the US would be “the worst nightmare for China” and something that could “disrupt the military balances in Asia ». The UK and the US have long cooperated on undersea nuclear weapons, and including Australia is a decisive step in propping up a common front against China.

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An agreement in this area with the US would be “China’s worst nightmare”

The announcement of the agreement comes amid a growing Western military presence in the region of Pacific Asia. Britain has deployed an aircraft carrier in those waters, and German and French warships have sailed them in recent months.

Morrison is scheduled to visit the White House next Thursday, September 23, in a meeting with Biden and the so-called ‘Quad’, a recently created group made up of the US, Australia, Japan and India. The four countries have one thing in common: They are all affected by China’s military and economic expansion. The US has been waging a strong trade war with Beijing since the presidency of Donald Trump and the Biden Administration has faced its main competitor for its abuses in Hong Kong and in the Xinjiang region, for its cybersecurity attacks and for its military expansion in the Pacific. This has directly affected Japan, with increasing Chinese military activity near its territorial waters. Australia, for its part, is in a bitter trade battle. And on the border between India and China, the tension has been triggered by claims of sovereignty that last year ended with the loss of a score of Indian soldiers and four Chinese.

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