GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
On the day that Chinese astronauts returned to earth after completing a record 3 months on China’s Tiangong space station – a milestone in the country’s ambitious space programme, the fall out from the US/UK/Australia new trilateral security partnership races around the world.
Admiral Lee Hsiming, former Chief of Taiwan’s Armed Forces said “The Australian Fist will reach right to mainland China”.
The Australian Government said that the three-way Agreement “represents a substantial capability leap for the Royal Australian Navy. Nuclear-powered submarines have superior stealth, speed, manoeuvrability, survivability and almost limitless endurance…these abilities allow nuclear-powered submarines to operate in contested areas with a lower risk of detection”.
Zhu Feng of Tsinghua University said AUKUS is directly aimed at containing China’s rise. Trumpism without Trump.”
Yun Sun, a China foreign policy expert at the Washington Stimson Centre, warning of an even closer China/Russia co-operation said “We are one step closer to the emergence of a bipolar world”.
Su Tzu-yun of the Taiwan National Defence and Security Research said “The submarine deal is very clearly targeting China’s nuclear strategy.”
Drew Thompson, a former Pentagon Asia specialist said the trilateral agreement had “huge implications” and signalled a “very substantial upgrading of the US-Australia relationship”.
By comparison, UK Prime Minister Johnson insisted that the pact was not intended as an “adversarial” move against China. He said that although the agreement to share nuclear submarine technology with Australia represented a “huge increase” in the levels of trust among the three countries, it was not “revolutionary”.
Johnson will encounter rough waters seeking to allay Chinese anxieties especially as the rest of the world sees the AUKUS as a fundamental confrontation initiative. There will be consequences to Anglo-China relations and even bigger adverse consequences for world international relations. China will not be cowed. War beckons.