Australia will purchase up to five nuclear-powered submarines from the U.S. to bolster its defense against China, the Daily Wire reported. President Joe Biden announced the plan Monday, which elicited a stern response from the communist nation the next day.
The submarines are expected for delivery to Australia in the early part of the next decade. However, American and British nuclear submarines will be loaned to Australian sailors so they can learn how to operate a nuclear-propulsion vessel.
Once they've mastered using the craft, Australia will have the ability to purchase three submarines. The deal includes an option to purchase two additional submarines bringing the total to five.
The U.S. has not shared this technology with another friendly nation since 1959, but is vital as the threat of Chinese aggression is on the rise. Biden appeared with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego to make the announcement.
The agreement was part of the AUKUS Partnership between the three nations to help Australia add to its naval defense capability. "Our unprecedented trilateral cooperation … is testament to the strength of the longstanding ties that unite us and to our shared commitment of ensuring the Indo-Pacific remains free and open, prosperous and secure, defined by opportunity for all — a shared commitment to create a future rooted in our common values," Biden said.
Prime Minister Albanese called the move "a genuine trilateral undertaking. All three nations stand ready to contribute and all three nations stand ready to benefit," he added.
Biden said he would discuss the plan with Chinese President Xi Jinping but was confident it wouldn't be met with resistance. The president emphasized that sharing the technology was about making sure Australia was "nuclear-powered, not nuclear-armed."
That distinction didn't seem to sway China, however. "The latest joint statement issued by the U.S., U.K., and Australia shows that the three countries have gone further down the wrong and dangerous path for their own geopolitical self-interest, completely ignoring the concerns of the international community," Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China, said Tuesday.
The communist nation accused the three partner nations of violating the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferaiton Treaty. However, it seems this was a necessary step in the face of increasing tensions in the region.
China has been saber-rattling against Taiwan and recently conducted military drills that signal a serious threat against the island nation, the Associated Press reported. "Beijing sends airplanes and warships toward Taiwan on a near-daily basis, often crossing the midline of the 160 kilometer (100 miles) Taiwan Strait dividing the sides," the report noted.
"At the end of December, China sent a record 71 planes and seven ships toward Taiwan — the largest such scale exercise in 2022." Taiwan has been conducting its own military exercises, largely seen as a measure to reassure its people.
Just after the New Year, Beijing doubled down on its explicit threats against Taiwan and warned its allied nations that they were "playing with fire" by sending officials. The communist nation expressly stated it was "safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity" and "smashing plots for Taiwan independence" through a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office.
Helping Australia bolster its fleet will provide the necessary strategic support in the region. However, this increased military might would not be necessary if Biden was not an inept, incompetent leader.
It's clear that the China threat is only growing stronger, thanks to our weak American president. The world is experiencing many dangerous, converging situations -- and no amount of nuclear-powered submarines will be enough if it all comes to an ignition point.