The Australian government announced, Monday (03.07.2022), the construction of a new submarine base on the east coast of the country to deal with threats in the Indo-Pacific region, after the controversial agreement that allows it to build US nuclear submarine technology.
“Threats from state and non-state actors are pervasive in our region. Militarization is rapidly expanding and developing,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at the Lowy Institute event.
The Australian president has openly referred to the expansion of China, an important trading partner of Australia, but with him he maintains strong diplomatic tension, by claiming virtually all islands and atolls in the South China Sea, a major maritime trade route rich in natural resources. .
“There is no doubt that China is more assertive and uses its power in ways that worry countries in the region and beyond,” Morrison added, referring to Beijing’s territorial claims conflicting with those of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Taiwan.
Australia, which last September signed a defense pact with the US and UK giving it access to building nuclear submarines using US technology, will invest about A$10 billion (US$7.392 million) in its new base.
Similarly, Morrison warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which China did not condemn, “is a reminder that although Australia is focused on the Indo-Pacific, events in other parts of the planet will have an impact on that region.” Area.
The new base will, in principle, house the aforementioned new nuclear submarines whose agreement, called AUKUS for the countries that make up them, created trouble with France by breaking a 2016 contract to acquire submarines from Gala Naval. Group.
Australia, a country that is also part of a four-way security agreement called QUAD with the United States, Japan and India to defend the rule of law, currently has a base for six Collins submarines in the southwestern city of Perth.
Canberra has yet to announce where the new base will be located, the first major construction since the Darwin Barracks built in the 1990s, although Morrison said they are studying three sites between the cities of Brisbane, Port Kembla and Newcastle, the last two of which are near Sydney. .
gs (efe, The Sidney Morning Herald)
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