[The Epoch Times, September 27, 2022](The Epoch Times reporter Lin Cenxin interviewed and reported) The United States, Britain and Australia have accelerated the cooperation on nuclear submarines. It plans to let Australia acquire the first submarine in 2035. Beijing has accused the plan of violating international Anti-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, experts say, Beijing’s accusations are unreasonable and absurd.
AUKUS nuclear submarine jumps ahead of Beijing’s schedule
The governments of the United States, Britain and Australia signed the “AUKUS” security agreement last year (the abbreviation of the three countries) to share advanced defense technology and intelligence. The first major plan is to assist Australia to acquire at least 8 ships.nuclear powered submarine。
The “Wall Street Journal” reported on the 24th that Western officials were quoted as saying that in response to China’s growing influence in the Pacific region, the U.S. government is considering accelerating the process of cooperation between the United States, Britain and Australia on nuclear submarines, and advancing Australia’s acquisition of the first nuclear submarine to 2035.
On the official website of the Permanent Mission of the Chinese Communist Party to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, a statement was published on the 25th in response, saying that the cooperation of the three countries’ nuclear submarines violated the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and was a nuclear proliferation act under the guise of a “navy power reactor”. .
The statement quoted Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as saying that the US regards China as an imaginary enemy, incites competition in the Indo-Pacific, undermines regional peace and stability, and hopes that the US will “abandon the use of the three countries’ nuclear submarine cooperation and other means to contain and contain China.”
Nuclear-powered non-proliferation expert: CCP is confusing
At the same time, the CCP was promoting the discussion on the issue of nuclear submarines in the United States, Britain and Australia on the Board of Directors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It also launched a number of official media to accuse the United States and Britain of exporting weapons of more than 90% abundance to Australia under the theme of “nuclear proliferation in the United States, Britain and Australia.” Enriched uranium, far exceeding its red line of 3.67% for Iran.
Li Zhequan, an associate researcher at the National Security Research Institute of Taiwan’s National Institute of Defense Security, told The Epoch Times on the 26th that Iran is engaged in nuclear weapons, and Australia’s nuclear submarines are powered by nuclear energy in the power part, and there are no nuclear weapons on board, “Beijing’s statement is deliberate. To confuse the two things together, they are actually completely different.”
Li Zhequan said that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons aims to oppose the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the United States has not violated it in assisting Australia to obtain powered submarines. On the other hand, the CCP is actively developing nuclear weapons, and it is estimated that it will build 1,000 nuclear warheads in 2030. “It does not think about itself. question, to blame Australianuclear powered submarine, is actually quite funny. “
“This is a deliberate accusation by Beijing, and Australia has repeatedly stressed that they will not develop nuclear weapons,” Li Zhengxiu, an associate researcher at Taiwan’s National Policy Research Foundation and a military expert, told The Epoch Times on the 26th.
Next-generation nuclear submarines boost Australia’s military projection capabilities
Li Zhengxiu said that the advantages of nuclear submarines using nuclear power as propulsion are three advantages: strong endurance, relatively low noise, and long combat radius. Australia has nuclear submarines to extend its combat capabilities.
“In the event of a military conflict between the United States and China, Australia’s submarines can serve as an auxiliary defense force for the United States in the Indo-Pacific. Because of its longer combat radius, it can come to the South China Sea and even enter the Taiwan Strait, becoming the right and left of the United States. wing.”
Li Zhequan said that the nuclear concentration of nuclear submarines built by the United States has indeed reached more than 90%, which is used for power propulsion. “A nuclear reactor is used to maintain the operation of submarines. To surface or return to base; nuclear submarines with high nuclear concentration can maintain sailing for several months to a year, and Australia’s ability to project force and perform various surveillance tasks has been greatly improved.”
According to the calculation and judgment of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment (CSBA), a US think tank, diesel-electric submarines departing from Perth, Australia can stay in the South China Sea for 11 days, while nuclear submarines can stay for more than two months.
Underwater warfare race in the Indo-Pacific region strains Beijing
Once the Australian nuclear-powered submarine is completed, it will make it the seventh country in the world to have nuclear submarines after the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and India. According to public information, the CCP currently has 6 strategic missile nuclear submarines in service, and it is estimated that by 2030, it may reach 10.
Former US deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger has said that underwater warfare is Beijing’s “Achilles heel” and that nuclear-powered submarines could help Australia expand its cruising range and give the US ally a stronger regional presence. .
Li Zhengxiu said that the CCP has repeatedly used force to coerce Taiwan, and even threatened to use force to resolve disputes with neighboring countries such as Japan and India. The deployment of nuclear submarines is also declarative.”
On the Beijing side, the diplomatic wolf warrior system has been thinking about how to counter this plan in the past few months. When Wang Yi accused the three countries of cooperating with submarines this time, he used a long list of words to weaken his expansion intention. Builders of world peace, contributors to global development, defenders of international order, providers of public goods, and mediators of hot-spot issues.”
Li Zhengxiu said that Beijing is also very aware that AUKUS is targeting it, but it also knows that if it engages in an arms race with the United States at this time, it may be a long way off, so he must resort to diplomatic accusations and intimidation at this time. Prevent more countries from moving closer to the United States.
Li Zhequan told The Epoch Times that the CCP has been actively operating in the South Pacific island countries in recent years. In April this year, it signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands, planning to deploy military bases in the country and send police and military personnel there. “If there are Australian submarines under the sea to monitor Of course, the CCP is very afraid of it.”
In response to the clamor inside and outside Beijing and the propaganda campaign through the media, Li Zhequan said that apart from attracting attention and attracting anti-US group countries to move closer, it has no impact on the AUKUS cooperation itself.
Responsible editor: Li Muen#