The three-way strategic defence agreement between the UK, USA and Australia will see nuclear-powered submarines deployed in the Indo-Pacific area, as well as heightened shared surveillance between the three countries to counteract China’s operations in the area. The deal has scuppered a pre-existing agreement with French manufacturers to produce diesel-powered submarines, causing outrage in political circles in the country.
The deal has also angered those on the other side of the world.
Anti-nuclear groups in Australia have expressed frustration over how the submarines could be used as a ’Trojan horse’ for nuclear power being used by the nation.
Australia has a long history of opposing the use of nuclear energy.
Australia has huge reserves of uranium, used in the proliferation of nuclear-powered objects.
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New Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance applies to nuclear power, nuclear-powered vessels, and nuclear weapons.
The country uses primarily hydroelectric energy, and positive public opinion on the use of nuclear power in New Zealand is close to zero.
The move has naturally caused anger in China as well.
Chinese officials have reacted viciously to the announcement, saying the three countries had an “obsolete Cold War mentality.”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the alliance risked “severely damaging regional peace… and intensifying the arms race”.
The news has also been met with criticism by Chinese state media, and has been labelled as “clear provocation” of Beijing and a “military threat”.