/ 16 September 2021

The new kid on the multilateral block

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Set your alarm for 7am eastern time for a big announcement about a new security pact called AUKUS. No prizes for guessing those initials; reports say it’s an agreement between Oz, the UK, and the US to share information on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, cyber and underwater systems, and long-range strike capabilities. We’ll know more this morning, but 2 things have already come up. The first is hello China… Early briefings from officials say the alliance will be seen as “​​another move by Western allies to push back on China’s rise in the military and technology arenas.” And the second is what it might mean for Australia’s $90 billion submarine deal with France. The faltering project could be dumped in favour of a nuclear-powered fleet using American and British technology. That will give PM Scott Morrison and President Joe Biden plenty to talk about when they meet in Washington DC next week.

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