Subs deal ‘great mistake,’ says former Aussie leader

Australia’s former prime minister on Wednesday warned that Canberra’s nuclear-powered submarine bingeing under the AUKUS military alliance could have a deadly consequence for the country.

“Signing the country up to the foreign proclivities of another country — the United States — with the gormless Brits lunging along behind is not a pretty sight,” former Labor leader Paul Keating said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Keating, who ruled from 1991 to 1996, said China posed no tangible military threat to Australia.

“What would be the point of China wanting to occupy Sydney and Melbourne? Militarily? And could they ever do it,” he said.

Keating said Australia was beginning a “dangerous and unnecessary journey” at the urging of the United States, and that this could carry “deadly consequences” if the country became tangled in future conflicts, AFP reported.

Australia announced on Monday it would buy up to five nuclear-powered submarines from the US in an ambitious effort to bulk up Western muscle in the face of China’s diplomatic and military progression in the Pacific region.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the deal was the country’s biggest-ever military upgrade, while US President Joe Biden said it would ensure the region remained “free and open.”

The submarine deal form part of the Australia, United Kingdom and US or AUKUS defense alliance meant to contain China’s growing influence in the Pacific region.

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