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Former Prime Minister Paul Keating scathing about Australia’s planned nuclear submarine deal

Mr Keating accused Mr Morrison of ‘wantonly leading Australia into a strategic dead end by its needless provocations against China’. 

Australia’s eight nuclear subs by 2040 will be like ‘throwing toothpicks at a mountain’ when facing China, ex-PM declares in scathing pro-Beijing speech slamming Scott Morrison’s Covid origins probe.   Daily Mail UK

  • Australia cancelled a $90billion submarine contract with France in September 
  • Instead Scott Morrison has partnered with US and UK to obtain nuclear boats 
  • Former Prime Minister Paul Keating said they will be ‘very old’ when ready
    • He also blasted Mr Morrison for offending China with call for Covid inquiry 

By CHARLIE MOORE, POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA 10 November 2021   In September, Mr Morrison cancelled a contract with France for 12 conventional submarines in favour of a new partnership with the US and UK known as AUKUS which will give Australia the technology to build nuclear boats for the first time.

But Mr Keating said they will take too long to arrive and pale in comparison to China’s navy which already has six nuclear-powered subs and more than 50 diesel-powered subs.  

Mr Keating, who led Australia as a Labor Prime Minister between 1991 and 1996, said the eight US-style nuclear submarines would have no impact militarily. 

‘These Virginia-class submarines were designed in the 1990s – by the time we have half a dozen of them it’ll be 2045 or 2050 – they’ll be 50 or 60 years old.

‘In other words, our new submarines will be old tech – it’ll be like buying an old 747.

‘And here we are, we’re going to wait 20 odd years to get the first one and 35 to 40 years to get the lot. For what will be then very old boats.’ 

Mr Keating said Australia was falling in line with the US strategy to use nuclear ‘hunter killer’ submarines to contain China. 

‘The whole point of these hunter killer submarines is to round up the Chinese nuclear submarines and keep them in the shallow waters of the Chinese continental shelf before they get to the Mariana Trench and become invisible,’ he said.

‘To stop them having nuclear capability towards the United States.’

The 77-year-old insisted that China has no desire to expand its territory in the east and said Australia should be focussing on its own defence with conventional subs.

[Former Deputy Prime Minister] Kim Beazley and I built the Collins [class submarines]. I built the Anzac frigates, they were built for the defence of Australia. Their range was to stop any incoming vessels, military vessels against us,’ he said.  ……….

Mr Keating accused Mr Morrison of ‘wantonly leading Australia into a strategic dead end by its needless provocations against China’. 

Instead, he said Australia should show China respect for the way it has brought millions of people out of poverty with rapid economic growth over the past few decades.

‘I think what the Chinese want is the acknowledgement of validity of what they have done and what they have created,’ he said. 

Mr Keating, who has frequently defended the Chinese Government, said Beijing does not represent a threat to Australia despite its military build up in the south and east china seas and its sweeping territorial claims in the region. 

China does not represent a contiguous threat to Australia,’ he said, insisting it is not like the Soviet Union which wanted communism to spread across the world after the Second World War.

‘China is not about turning over the existing world order. It only wants to reform it, and it wants to reform it because of its only scale,’ he said.

‘It signed up to the World Trade Organisation, it signed up to the International Monetary Fund, it signed up to the World Bank, it signed up to the World Health Organisation.’……………… https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10184775/Paul-Keating-blasts-Australias-nuclear-submarines-pro-China-speech.html

November 11, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international

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