Australia Builds Nuclear-Powered Submarines Despite Criticism from China

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The next step in the security collaboration known as Aukus, which China has vehemently opposed, will see Australia expand its industrial base and skilled workforce to assist in building and maintaining a future fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, according to a report by the South China Morning Post

(Photo : MICHAEL BAGER/AFP via Getty Images)
The Russian nuclear submarine Dmitrij Donskoj sails under the Great Belt Bridge between Jyutland and Fun through Danish waters, near Korsor, on July 21, 2017, on it’s way to Saint Petersburg to participate in the 100th anniversary of the Russian Navy, held in on 29th – 30th July. The submarine is 172 meters long and is thus the largest nuclear powered submarine in the world, and it’s the first time it sails into the Baltic Sea.

“Seamless Defence Industrial Base”

In remarks made to commemorate the first anniversary of the agreement, defense minister Richard Marles stated that he wanted to establish a “genuinely seamless defence industrial base” among the US, Britain, and Australia.

On September 15, 2021, Australia, the UK, and the US unveiled the wide-ranging security accord known as Aukus, which called for closer collaboration between the three nations on defense and research. 

The agreement saw the US, UK, and Australia team up to build and maintain a fleet of nuclear submarines, significantly expanding Canberra’s military range in the Asia-Pacific. 

However, some of Australia’s neighbors have criticized the Aukus accord, with China, in particular, taking its objections to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Beijing claimed that the deal granting Australia access to nuclear submarine technology violated international non-proliferation treaties. 

Read also: New Nuclear Fusion Experiment Produces 59 Megajoules of Energy-Leading To New World Record 

“Turning a Blind Eye”

IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi expressed satisfaction with the Aukus partners’ cooperation thus far, while Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning claimed that the organization was “turning a blind eye” to the issue. 

The Albanese administration has also pledged A$15 billion (US$10.1 billion) as part of a National Reconstruction Fund in order to reinvigorate Australia’s manufacturing sector as part of its policy goal. 

The partnership’s choice of nuclear submarine model is still unknown, and Marles has set the announcement date for early 2023.  

During a news conference with Marles in September, while visiting the UK, British Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace made a suggestion that a whole different design would be possible. 

“I think there’s a confusion as to somehow this is me trying to sell that submarine and the minister will go off to the United States and buy that,” Wallace said in a statement.

“But actually the ultimate is to get all of us to get through the 2030s where we produce a submarine that is in my view, truly collaborative, might have a bit of all three on it.” 

Related Article: US Navy Engineer Arrested After Trying to Sell Nuclear Submarine Secrets to Another Country 

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Written by Joaquin Victor Tacla

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