Beijing and Moscow castigate the alliance of Washington, Canberra and London
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak jointly launched the AUKUS alliance on Monday afternoon.
China and Russia blasted Tuesday the spectacular cooperation program in nuclear submarines launched the day before by the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
China has denounced a wrong and dangerous course, violating the objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty with a serious risk of nuclear proliferation. Russia has accused the Anglo-Saxons of orchestrating years of confrontation in Asia.
Anxious to stand up to China in the Pacific, Washington, London and Canberra launched Monday their alliance called AUKUS – announced 18 months ago to the chagrin of Paris which saw its own submarines ousted. They will partner to build a new generation of nuclear submarines in Australia, following Canberra's planned purchase of several devices.
This attack submarine program aims to reshape the Western military presence in the Pacific, at a time when China is asserting its ambitions there.
These three countries are joining forces. engage more and more on an erroneous and dangerous path, for the benefit of their only geopolitical interests and in total disregard of the concerns of the international community, lambasted in front of the press a spokesperson for Chinese diplomacy, Wang Wenbin.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin (File photo)
< p class="e-p">Accusing the three Western countries of inciting an arms race, with an alliance embodying a typical Cold War way of thinking, he added that the sale of the submarines poses a serious nuclear proliferation risk and goes to against the aims and objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The Anglo-Saxon world is building block structures like AUKUS, advancing the infrastructure of the x27;NATO in Asia, and seriously betting on long years of confrontation, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a press conference (File photo)
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must ensure that no risk of proliferation emanates from the project, warned for its part its director general Rafael Grossi.
Monday, from a naval base in San Diego, US President Joe Biden announced unprecedented cooperation, surrounded by Australian Prime Ministers Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
With a crucial principle , he hammered: these submarines will be nuclear-powered, but will not carry nuclear weapons, to respect the principle of non-proliferation.
We are putting ourselves in the best position to face the challenges of today and tomorrow together, Biden said. He had implicitly referred to China in saying that the AUKUS alliance should ensure that the Indo-Pacific remains free and open. A formula which, in American diplomatic jargon, designates the desire to counter Chinese influence in the region.
Mr Albanese pointed out that Australia is making the biggest defense investment in its history. According to Canberra, this multi-decade project will cost almost $40 billion over the first 10 years and will generate around 20,000 jobs.
Australia is, after the United Kingdom, the second country to have access to US Navy nuclear secrets, Mr Albanese insisted.
Rishi Sunak also touted efforts to boost his UK defense budget which commits to the most important multilateral defense agreement in generations.
The attack submarine program, which aims to reshape the Western military presence in the Pacific, will come in three phases, the White House detailed.
There will first be a familiarization phase with Australia – which has no nuclear-powered submarines or military or civilian nuclear technology.
< p class="e-p">Its sailors, engineers, technicians will be trained in American and British crews, as well as in American and British shipyards and specialized schools.
The objective is to deploy, from 2027 and on a principle of rotation, four American submarines and a British submarine on the Australian base in Perth.
Secondly, under Subject to the green light from the US Congress, Australia will buy three US Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarines, with an option on two more. They must be delivered from 2030.
In the third and most ambitious stage of the program, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom will partner for a new generation of submarines of x27;attack dubbed SSN AUKUS.
This will involve a gigantic industrial effort, especially for Australia, which must build a new shipyard in Adelaide.
The new ships, of British design and incorporating advanced American technologies, will be built and deployed by the United Kingdom and Australia.
They are to be delivered from the late 2030s and early 2040s.
Australia will build a high-tech nuclear manufacturing industry from scratch, points out David Andrews, a military strategy analyst at the ANU.
There are risks in the way of administering personnel, building production lines, managing supplies and maintenance, he told Agence France-Presse (AFP). We currently don't have a lot of capacity to train people like nuclear physicists or engineers and other specialties that we will need to operate these submarines.
Nuclear-powered submarines are difficult to detect, can travel great distances for long periods of time, and carry sophisticated cruise missiles.