Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles has said he is “extremely optimistic” that the 2030 deadline for the new nuclear submarine will be met.
This is despite Marls, who is also the Defense Minister, previously claimed that submarines would be available in the late 2040s under the deadline of the previous administration.
“I think the truth about where the previous administration left us at the time of the election was that they were seeing a new nuclear submarine in the 2040s. That’s where they were,” Marls said of ABC. Radio National on wednesday.
“Now we are considering all the options available to move that time forward, but I think it’s very optimistic to move it forward eight years from now.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said Australia could still face a “capacity gap” and was considering all solutions, including extending the life of the current Collins-class submarine fleet.
“We are by no means excluding it,” he said. “I think life-of-type extensions play an important role here, but I’m very open-minded about what options I have in terms of closing them.”
Malaysia fears AUKUS could cause an arms race
Comments from Mars came after Australia’s long-term Asia-Pacific ally, Malaysia, reiterated concerns that AUKUS’s nuclear submarine trade could lead to an arms race in the region.
“We especially want to maintain the South China Sea and the region as a whole as a region of peace, commerce and prosperity,” said Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Dat Sri Saifuddin bin Abdullah. Joint statement With Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong.
“We have just had a very frank discussion about AUKUS, and I thank the Foreign Minister for explaining the current position of the government. And Malaysia’s position remains unchanged.”
Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob argued in May that the agreement with AUKUS could have a potential knock-on effect, for example if China wants to help buy a North Korean nuclear-powered submarine. , Malaysia “AUKUS is the precedent”
Australia’s Wong was the first foreign minister to visit the country of birth, emphasizing that the new Labor administration will “listen” to the concerns of Australia’s neighbors.
Trying to maintain peace in the region
Mr Wong reiterated that the agreement with AUKUS would not bring about nuclear weapons.
“What we’re doing is replacing existing features with new ones. It’s a nuclear submarine,” she said. “The propulsion system is powered by nuclear power, but we don’t want or want the submarines to have nuclear capabilities.”
She said the government is aware that the region is being reshaped economically and politically.
“Australia always works on the basis of what we have for this purpose: peaceful areas, stable areas, prosperous areas, areas where sovereignty is respected, and, importantly, how many rules It describes regional actions that enable it and predictability of how conflicts will be treated, “she said.
on the other hand, Poll of 2,000 Australians According to a Sydney-based think tank, the Lowy Institute has revealed that 70% of respondents are in favor of countries acquiring nuclear submarines. Polls also found that more Australians want increased defense spending, with 51% of respondents agreeing. This is a significant increase of 20 points from the 2019 poll.