Advertisement

US, Australia To Counter China's Destabilising Military Activities: Joint Statement

On Monday, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Australia's Defence Minister Richard Marles in Washington as part of the annual AUSMIN talks, which includes include the two countries’ foreign ministers

The Australian and US defence ministers are determined to “counter destabilising military activities by the People's Republic of China,” according to a statement issued following a meeting at the Pentagon.

On Monday, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Australia's Defence Minister Richard Marles in Washington as part of the annual AUSMIN talks, which will also include the two countries foreign ministers on Tuesday.

Britain's defence minister, Ben Wallace, will also attend the AUKUS ministers' first in-person meeting on Wednesday in Washington. Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom formed a defence technology group to provide nuclear-powered submarine technology to Australia.

The AUKUS meeting comes at a critical juncture for the partners, who must decide whether the submarine will be British or American in March and lay the groundwork for an Australian fleet.

Australia has said that it requires the long-range and stealth capabilities of nuclear-powered submarines carrying conventional weapons.

According to a recent US Department of Defence report on China, Beijing is making a diplomatic push to criticise and “subvert” AUKUS. 

“PRC officials have incorrectly framed AUKUS as an act of nuclear proliferation,” according to the report.

According to Canberra, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to which Australia is a signatory does not prohibit nuclear propulsion.

According to a statement issued following the Pentagon meeting, Australia and the United States will strengthen defence cooperation, including technological cooperation.

China is Australia's largest trading partner and the largest market for exported iron ore, but Canberra is concerned about Beijing's military ambitions in the South Pacific after signing a security treaty with the Solomon Islands this year.

According to Australian diplomats, a meeting between Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 last month was a step toward normalising relations but would not result in a shift in Canberra's defence policy.


Tags assigned to this article:
AUSMIN Lloyd Austin Richard Marles

Advertisement

Around The World