Australian, Fiji PMs to Discuss AUKUS Nuclear Sub Deal After China Cries Foul

Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka (R) receives his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese upon the latter’s arrival in Nadi on March 15, 2023InternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovEarlier this week, the trilateral security partnership between Australia, the UK and the US agreed to supply Canberra with conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines in the early 2030s. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has arrived in Fiji to discuss the AUKUS submarine program and regional security with his counterpart Sitiveni Rabuka.During the talks, Albanese will reportedly press Canberra’s message that the $245 billion AUKUS program does not violate Australia’s commitments under the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, also known as The Treaty of Rarotonga, which came into force in 1986.According to the UN, the document “importantly reinforces, at the regional level, the legally-binding commitments that its parties have made under the near universal Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) not to manufacture, possess, acquire or have control of nuclear weapons.”Albanese’s trip comes a few days after an AUKUS summit of the US, the UK and Australia unveiled details of their plan to create a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, which the sides said aims to counter China’s assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.The plan stipulates Washington providing Australia with three US Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarines in the early 2030s, with an option for Canberra to buy two more such vessels if needed.Beijing rejected the blueprint, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry accusing Canberra, London and Washington of “walking further and further down the path of error and danger”.Australian, Fiji PMs to Discuss AUKUS Nuclear Sub Deal After China Cries FoulWorldWhat is Behind Australia’s Reported Plans to Buy US Nuclear Subs as Part of AUKUS?13 March, 12:15 GMTChina has repeatedly slammed the AUKUS deal as a breach of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, claiming that the “trilateral security partnership” between the UK, the US and Australia is aimed at “fueling military confrontation through military collaboration.”


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