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Australia Deploys Diplomatic Resources to Fight Chinese Disinformation on AUKUS Submarine Deal

February 22nd, 2022 14:08

Aus­tralian media report­ed ear­li­er this month that the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment is deploy­ing spe­cial­ized diplo­mat­ic teams to win inter­na­tion­al sup­port for a nuclear sub­ma­rine deal between Aus­tralia, the UK, and the US. Accord­ing to the ABC news report, the teams will try to counter Chi­nese dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns direct­ed against the deal:

Feb­ru­ary 10, 2022 Aus­tralia is bulk­ing up spe­cialised diplo­mat­ic teams in both Can­ber­ra and Vien­na to win inter­na­tion­al accep­tance for the AUKUS nuclear sub­ma­rine project as it braces for a mas­sive “dis­in­for­ma­tion” cam­paign from Chi­na and Rus­sia. […] Bei­jing has already furi­ous­ly crit­i­cised the AUKUS sub­marines plan, and Chi­nese offi­cials have made it clear they will do every­thing they can in inter­na­tion­al organ­i­sa­tions like the IAEA to delay or stymie it. […] A spokesper­son for the Depart­ment of For­eign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) told the ABC: “There has been some mis­char­ac­ter­i­sa­tions and wil­ful dis­in­for­ma­tion of the AUKUS part­ner­ship and Aus­trali­a’s acqui­si­tion of con­ven­tion­al­ly armed nuclear-pow­ered submarines.”

Read the full report here.

Last Sep­tem­ber,  the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment announced a strate­gic defense alliance between Aus­tralia, the UK, and the US (AUKUS). The alliance was aimed ini­tial­ly at build­ing a class of nuclear-pro­pelled sub­marines but also to facil­i­tate coop­er­a­tion in the Indo-Pacif­ic region, where the rise of Chi­na is seen as an increas­ing threat.