Equipping Australia With Nuclear-Powered Submarines A Smart Move, Experts Say

By Kelly Song
Kelly Song
Kelly Song
Kelly Song is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on all things related to China.
September 23, 2021 Updated: September 23, 2021

Through a new security partnership called AUKUS, the United States and the United Kingdom will help equip Australia with a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. Former Chinese navy colonel and military experts from Taiwan say that AUKUS is a “smart move,” and it will be effective in countering Beijing’s maritime aggression.

Forming a Military Stronghold

Cheng Yao, former lieutenant colonel of the Chinese naval command center, told the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times that the AUKUS move is very clever. It forms a military stronghold, with Australia, Japan, and Guam, against Beijing’s aggression into the Pacific Ocean.

Epoch Times Photo
Screenshot from Google Maps showing Australia, Guam, and Japan which are forming a military stronghold against Beijing’s maritime ambition to reach the Pacific Ocean, taken on Sept. 23, 2021. (Screenshot via Google maps)

Yao said that from the military point of view, it’s necessary for the United States to help Australia. Australia’s geographic location makes it especially important in stopping Beijing’s attempt to break through the first island chain and reach the Pacific Ocean.

With the fast expansion of the Chinese navy in recent years, it is imperative to form an alliance against China’s aggression, which clearly is the U.S. strategy, Yao said.

Blocking CCP Military Behind First Island Chain

Regarding Beijing’s threat to Taiwan, Yao thinks that in order to invade Taiwan, Beijing has to first remove the United States from the first island chain. However, Beijing currently does not have the capability to do so. But in 18 months or longer, it might. Therefore, the 18-month timeline of AUKUS addresses this possibility.

Epoch Times Photo
Screenshot from Google Maps showing the first island chain, taken on Sept. 23, 2021. (Screenshot via Google maps)

Dr. Tsung‐Chi Yu, Dean of Fu Hsing Kang College at National Defense University, Taiwan, told The Epoch Times that AUKUS directly targets the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

According to Yu, Japan has been strengthening the defense to its south and has formed an Indo-Pacific version of the Maginot Line. However, one weak link is the Bashi Channel, located in between Taiwan and the Philippines. It is an important pathway for CCP submarines.

The AUKUS agreement grants Australia long-distance underwater capability to safeguard the Bashi Channel. This will greatly strengthen the overall defense capability along the First Island Chain.

A Well-Organized String of Events

Yu thinks that the U.S. support for Taiwan is getting stronger, slowly and steadily. It is similar to CCP’s tactic in the South China Sea—gradually taking over the islands in small steps—to prevent heightened level of confrontation from the United States and its allies.

A series of events have happened. First, the United States is considering changing the name of the “Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office” to the “Taiwan Representative Office.”

Secondly, Taiwan’s high-level diplomats and national security officials visited the United States for Special Channel talks in mid-September. Thirdly, the QUAD summit in Washington D.C. is scheduled in late September.

All these prove that the United States is executing a well-planned series of events to counter Beijing’s threat.

Dr. Yu said because Xi is seeking to retain power next October, he must be very careful not to make any mistakes on military, foreign relations, and Taiwan issues. “If one thing goes wrong, he won’t be able to retain power. So, Xi will not make any offensive move. While the moves by the U.S. is to provoke Xi to make mistakes. Anything that happens will speed up [the] CCP’s demise.”

Safeguarding Bashi Channel Important to Europe

Su Ziyun, director of the Institute of Military Strategy and Industry at Taiwan’s Institute for National Defense and Security Studies, told the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times that one of the reasons the UK and the United States want to equip Australia with long-distance underwater capabilities is to safeguard the Bashi Channel.

This explains why the U.S. P-8A Poseidon Maritime Surveillance Aircraft have been active around Bashi Channel, to make sure CCP’s nuclear-powered submarines do not pass through it and enter the Philippines Sea to threaten the U.S. mainland.

The UK also wants to stop the CCP’s maritime expansion. If the CCP controls the South China Sea, then it controls the maritime route to Europe through the Red Sea and Suez Canal. That will hurt the European economy. In addition, it is to prevent CCP’s intercontinental missiles from reaching Europe.

In addition, the Indo-Pacific region is an important platform for the UK to re-enter the global stage after it exited the European Union. It has permanently deployed two warships to the Indo-Pacific region. British Prime Minister Johnson stated recently that the UK will follow the United States in its hard stance against Beijing.

Kelly Song
Kelly Song is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on all things related to China.