The formation of the cooperation between Australia, Britain and the United States or AUKUS, which agreed to cooperate in procuring a nuclear-powered submarine for Australia has raised concerns from the Indonesian government. However, according to Australian and American observers, the steps of the three countries can actually offset China’s ambitions, which are supported by its massive navy.
The procurement of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia, as part of the AUKUS trilateral security cooperation with the United States and Britain, has provoked various reactions in the Asia Pacific region.
Satu Limaye, Asia Pacific observer from the East West Center, said, “I want to emphasize, this is not a nuclear-armed submarine, but a nuclear-powered submarine. This is important, because compared to conventional engines, which are nuclear-powered, they last longer, are quieter and operate longer.”
According to analysts, it is worth emphasizing the differences between nuclear-powered submarines and nuclear-armed submarines, such as those of America and Russia.
Greg Fealy, an observer of Indonesian politics from the Australian National University, said, “According to the government, there is no plan whatsoever to acquire, for example, nuclear missiles. So, missiles and so on, they are conventional. The government has stated that they will not build nuclear power – er, nuclear power plants. They only work on the industry needed to maintain the submarine. If it’s a nuclear reactor, it’s all left to the US […] because Australia is such a huge continent, nuclear submarines like that are more effective at protecting Australia.”
The Indonesian government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is among those who have expressed concern about the procurement of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia. Indonesia reiterates Australia’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation as well as the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.
Although officials from the three AUKUS countries have repeatedly stressed that this alliance is not aimed at any particular country, most analysts say it was China that triggered the formation of AUKUS.
Again, Satu Limaye, “The US, UK and Australia argue, China is building a large naval power, and it is time – given China’s tough and aggressive behavior in the region – that allied countries can deter China and not allow China to act as it pleases in the region. the area.”
As an Indo-Pacific country, Australia has experienced China’s aggressive policies firsthand. Greg Fealy said, “For Australia, they feel constantly bullied by the Chinese, by the Chinese. Quite a lot of Australian agricultural products are blocked. […] Australia was the first government to request an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, and that greatly irritated the Xi administration. So China is considered hostile now to Australia.”
According to Global Fire Power, China has the largest naval fleet in the world, with two aircraft carriers and seventy-nine submarines. Meanwhile, the Australian navy does not have an aircraft carrier and only has six submarines. [rd]