Nigel Farage insisted the UK will play a pivotal part in ensuring the protection of Australia from growing threats from China. The British Government this week announced a new partnership, dubbed Aukus, that will see the UK and the US provide Canberra with nuclear-powered submarines in a bid to defuse Beijing’s hostile conduct in the Indo-Pacific. The GB News producer hailed the agreement as a “Brexiteer’s dream” as he ridiculed France for losing out on a military contract with Canberra.
Mr Farage said: “The deal that Australia had done with the French was for diesel-powered submarines.
“Now, not only is that technology 60 years old but a diesel sub has to surface once every 24 hours. That makes it much easier for any potential enemy to detect.
“A nuclear-powered sub could submerge for months, in fact, it could even, if they had enough water and food, submerge for years at a time.
“So the French were offering a 20th-century solution. The British and Americans were offering a 21st-century solution. I’m delighted with this deal, it came out of left field, no one knew it was happening.
“And in many ways, this is a Brexiteer’s dream.”
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He continued: “Australia, even though they’ve become very dependent economically upon China over the last few years, much of that because we joined the common market and really turned our backs on them.
“Sorry, guys, we’re trying to correct that now, nearly a century later.
“China is building its navy up at a speed that is astonishing. They’re building something like the size of the Royal Navy every single year.
“And, of course, we know the territorial integrity of Taiwan is directly and regularly challenged by the Chinese Communist Party plus, on contested islands, the Chinese have been building airstrips for the last few years.
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French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said it was a “stab in the back” and constituted “unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners”.
The so-called Aukus defence pact between the UK, US, and Australia has been widely seen as an attempt to counter the growing military assertiveness of China in the Indo-Pacific region.
Beijing swiftly denounced the initiative as “extremely irresponsible” and a threat to regional peace and stability.
Mr Johnson, however, said it was not intended as an “adversarial” move against China or any other power.
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