29 March 2022
Letter to the Editor:
I refer to an article published in the SCMP on 17 March, “The West is deluding itself about its moral prestige and geopolitical prowess” by Alex Lo, that made incorrect claims regarding the enhanced trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States - AUKUS.
AUKUS is one part of Australia’s support for an open, stable, secure, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific where sovereign states can make choices free from coercion. It complements our other bilateral, regional, and multilateral partnerships.
Australia’s decision to acquire conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines is something we are pursuing openly to contribute to the Indo-Pacific region’s security and stability. It is well known this is a defence capability that other Indo-Pacific countries already possess and operate in the region.
It is incorrect to assert Australia seeks to acquire nuclear weapons. As Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stated unequivocally, AUKUS is not a vehicle for Australia to acquire nuclear weapons and Australia has no intention of doing so.
Australia remains steadfast in its exemplary, longstanding, and continued commitment to strengthening the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Australian Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macau