So, the first part of this “peace” initiative is to get our nation kitted up with eight nuclear-powered submarines to be built in South Australia.
The war department will be utilising this “sensitive technology” to establish a permanent nuclear submarine taskforce. And we’ve been assured not to concern ourselves about acquiring nuclear weapons, as the US and the UK – who already have heaps – are committed to non-proliferation.
The appointment of Peter Dutton as defence minister at the end of March was somewhat ominous. As home affairs minister, as well as when holding the immigration portfolio prior, the Queenslander had a talent for delivering destructive policies regardless of how divisive they relate on the ground.
Five weeks later and the minister was speaking to the press about the nation already being “under attack on the cyber front”. Cyber-attacks are evidently a new form of conflict known as “grey zone” warfare.
And his describing a “state actor” as having perpetrated these attacks is Canberra code for China.
Dutton is hardly alone in gunning for Beijing. In June last year, Morrison updated the nation on its war strategies, announcing that Australia was purchasing long-range anti-ship missiles from the US, with tensions in the Indo Pacific – again, China – being cited as necessitating the investment.
Renowned environmental activist Bob Brown told the AFR on Thursday that the local antinuclear movement will be reawakened as this move will likely be used as a backdoor means to promote the use of nuclear power, especially with the current push to drop fossil fuels.
Despite no direct mention of China being made when AUKUS was unveiled, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian publicly denounced the pact as seriously undermining regional peace and stability, intensifying the arms race and undermining international non-proliferation efforts.