Former Australian PM says submarines are ‘worst deal ever’ | WGN Radio 720

SYDNEY (AP) — Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating on Wednesday launched a ferocious attack on his country’s plans to buy nuclear submarines from the United States to modernize its fleet, calling it “the worst It must be a deal,” he said.

Keating said at a National Press Club event that submarines would serve no useful military purpose.

“The only way China can threaten or attack Australia is by land, which means they will bring a fleet of military ships with a large army to occupy us,” Keating said. He said, “The Chinese cannot do this.”

He added that Australia would sink such a Chinese armada with planes and missiles.

“The idea is that we need American submarines to protect us,” said Keating. “Buy eight, three are at sea. Three will protect us from Chinese power. Really? I mean, it’s garbage. Garbage.”

The Australian deal, announced Monday in San Diego by US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, comes amid growing concerns over China’s military buildup and influence in the Indo-Pacific. was broken Biden emphasized that submarines will not carry nuclear weapons of any kind.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marls said the deal was necessary to counter the largest conventional military buildup in the region since World War II.

“We must take steps to develop the ability to operate nuclear submarines so we can pass on a much more self-reliant nation to our children and grandchildren,” Marles said.

China said on Tuesday that the US, Australia and the UK are “going further down the wrong and dangerous path for their own geopolitical self-interest” in signing an agreement given the acronym AUKUS.

Keating served as prime minister for over four years in the 1990s. He was from the same Labor Party as the Albanians.

Keating said the submarine agreement was the worst international decision in more than 100 years, following the Labor Party’s unsuccessful attempt to introduce conscription during World War I.

Keating also ridiculed the cost of the deal, which Australian officials estimated at A$268 billion to A$368 billion ($178 to $245 billion) over 30 years. Australian officials say the deal will create 20,000 jobs.

“For $360 billion, you can get eight submarines,” Keating said. ‘It must be the worst deal ever’

At a press club event, Keating was questioned as to whether ties to China influenced his views.

He said he had no commercial interests in China and left the bank’s board five years ago.

“I was on the board of the Development Bank of China for 13 years and as chairman for 10 years,” Keating said, adding that his fee or honorarium was $5,000 a year.

Keating also lashed out at several journalists at the event, telling one reporter that her question was “so silly it’s hardly worth answering” and telling another reporter that his newspaper’s recent Australian “We should bow our heads in shame,” he said of reports of China’s perceived threat to China.

Matthew Knott, a second journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, responded: Former Australian PM says submarines are ‘worst deal ever’ | WGN Radio 720

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