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China furious at US direct link between AUKUS and Taiwan.

| Naval News Navy 2024

On April 3, 2024, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell notably linked the AUKUS submarine pact directly to Taiwan, a move that stands out given the typical reticence of the involved nations—Australia, Britain, and the U.S.—to publicly connect AUKUS with the escalating tensions over Taiwan.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the future AUKUS class submarine. (Picture source: UK gov)

The AUKUS pact, announced in 2023, is a significant military and security collaboration between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, focusing on the provision of nuclear-powered attack submarines to Australia. This initiative aims to counteract China's expanding influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Campbell's statements at the Center for a New American Security think tank highlighted the strategic importance of the new submarine capabilities being developed under AUKUS.

He suggested that these capabilities could play a critical role in enhancing peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and beyond, potentially serving as a deterrent against any aggressive moves by China towards Taiwan. China has consistently criticized the AUKUS agreement, labeling it as dangerous and a potential catalyst for an arms race in the region.

This linkage by Campbell is part of a broader strategy by the U.S. to strengthen alliances and partnerships in Asia, including significant engagements with Japan and the Philippines, in response to China's military buildup and assertive territorial claims.

The U.S. is looking to solidify its alliances in the region further, with plans for a summit involving Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Washington on April 11, which will include discussions on enhancing cooperation in the South China Sea among other issues.


This stance is further exemplified by recent naval conflicts between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea, which have seen an increase in tension due to China's coercive actions and territorial claims.

The confrontation over the Second Thomas Shoal has been notably intense, with China employing water cannons against Philippine supply boats attempting to deliver necessities to Filipino troops stationed on a grounded, decommissioned warship, the BRP Sierra Madre, which Manila has maintained as a form of territorial claim and outpost since 1999.

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