AUKUS alliance 'the consequence of Chinese behaviour', declares ex-Aussie foreign Minister

16 September 2021, 15:37 | Updated: 18 September 2021, 12:48

By Seán Hickey

The new AUKUS alliance will halt 'Chinese power and influence' in the Indo-Pacific region, this former Australian Foreign Minister insists.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden declared a military alliance with Australia this week, which will provide the Australian military with nuclear-powered submarines.

Former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told Tom Swarbrick that the alliance is an effort to pin back Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Read more: 'STAB IN THE BACK': French FURIOUS and China warns of ARMS RACE over nuclear pact

"They in a way have put themselves in this position by being so aggressive towards the west including to Australia", he said in the immediate aftermath of the announcement.

He said that his successors won't be expecting dialogue with China in the coming days: "They don't actually speak to Australian ministers...they just put Australia in the freezer."

Read more: What is AUKUS? Why has the deal been struck? And why is France so ANGRY?

Tom wondered what Mr Downer expected "the end point to be" in the AUKUS alliance.

He predicted "a limitation on China's capacity to influence and power in the Indo-Pacific region."

Mr Downer argued that without the AUKUS alliance, "they would be able to turn countries in the region into client states."

"This is the consequence of Chinese behaviour" he concluded.

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