There appears to be a major policy announcement on China by President Biden scheduled for 2100 UTC Sept 15. The Whitehouse apparently labels this “a national security initiative”. One Australian newspaper leaked that the Australian Cabinet has been in emergency session and that senior members of the opposition have also been briefed. Backbencher have been told to expect an Australian announcement of “something” about 2330 UTC. The British are also apparently involved. This news was published about 1100 UTC. This is highly unusual, hence this post.
In view of the apparent failure last week of Biden’s attempt at a face to face meeting with President Xi, I have a feeling that this is an ominous development if the reports of the Australian emergency meeting are correct. By “ominous” I am simply reflecting my lack of confidence in the foreign policy skills of the Biden team to confront a rampant China and the proclivity of the current Australian Government to forget national interest in an effort to get re-elected next year. The less said about Australia’s current Prime Minister the better except that he has religious proclivities and personal lack of judgement that are unlikely to keep us out of a shooting war…….and we just got out of Afghanistan.
I hope members of Turcopolier will enlighten us if they have further information.
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This is on the ABC website.
Australia’s next submarine fleet will be nuclear-powered under an audacious plan that will see a controversial $90 billion program to build up to 12 French-designed submarines scrapped.
The ABC understands Australia will use American and British technology to configure its next submarine fleet in a bid to replace its existing Collins class subs with a boat more suitable to the deteriorating strategic environment.
Australia, the United States and Britain are expected to jointly announce a new trilateral security partnership on Thursday, with a focus on aligning technology and regional challenges.
Thank you kodlu, the information in your post is less than an hour old. I would expect that if the news is true that there will be other nuclear developments involved – and soon.
I agree that there is likely going to be other related developments.
BTW, I am in Melbourne, I believe you are also in Victoria.
Thanks for the heads up. Something is definitely afoot in China and even without the developments you mention I think this post is timely. FWIW here are three threads I have picked up on:
I read a piece in Asia Times at the end of last month suggesting that Xi Jinping has begun what was characterized as Cultural Revolution 2.0. There is speculation it may have much to do with Xi trying to consolidate his position in order fight for re-election as CCP General Secretary next year. In any case, it highlights what appears to be a split among China’s elite over the increasing influence of Western Neo-liberalism and Xi seems to have come down hard on a rejection of this & a return to communist & traditional values. The linked commentary entitled “Everyone can feel that a profound change is underway!” positions the changes as a response to a color revolution launched against China by the US. I’d recommend anyone with the time read the article & the commentary. You’ll need a machine translation unless you speak Mandarin.
Another data point: Since the Afghanistan withdrawal the Global Times, a CCP mouthpiece, has written several extremely belligerent op-ed’s over Taiwan. It is easy to dismiss these as testing the waters (of the Taiwan Strait I guess) but the extreme bellicosity was notable.
Finally, over the last few days ZeroHedge has been covering the news of Evergrande (China’s second largest property developer) apparently about to default on its debt. There is speculation this could trigger a systemic credit collapse in China. One has to wonder if this prospect is what is driving one or more of the above.
Barbara Ann, the link to Asia Times that you offered appears to be a Chinese policy statement on Culture War, specifically, entertainment as it affects the young.
It includes culture-specific references like “rice circle,” which seems to refer to fan clubs of young people that organize around movie stars in China. Chinese government wants to put a stop to the “vulgar” practice. One of the rice circle stars named has been totally dethroned, delisted, canceled, etc., consequent to having arranged for surrogate children in USA (surrogacy is illegal in China), married & divorced the male part of the equation, who was forced to stay in US to care for children etc etc etc — the makings of soap opera.
It’s interesting that Chinese government is attempting to exert control of mass entertainment product that influences young people.
E Michael Jones argues that Catholic bishops in US were a restraint on Hollywood for many years until — maybe Vatican II ?? when, according to Jones, Catholic hierarchy was strong-armed by ultra-liberal forces from outside who suborned members of the Catholic clergy.
I agree with you re: Archbishop Viganò: I think he’s a breath of fresh air. But then, somewhere in me lurks a rebel.
Yes, in the interests of brevity I omitted that aspect from my comment, but it is an equally important part of what looks like a wholesale rejection of Western (neo)liberalism. The globalists who expected China to be Westernized must be seething. The thing with Australia looks like part of the response.
“…the apparent failure last week of Biden’s attempt at a face to face meeting with President Xi.”
There was no failure by President Xi. After Biden’s glorious victory in Afghanistan the leader of China simply joined real Americans in saying “F Joe Biden”. Ok, maybe he didn’t say it. But he sure isn’t wasting his time talking to the loser and the Ivy Leauge Marxists he shamed in Alaska earlier this year.
Your prime minister…. “he has religious proclivities and personal lack of judgement”
That lack of judgement not being destroying your economy with Covid lockdowns. As to his religion, why do you bring that up if the voters didn’t find any issue with them?
For your enlightenment:
Nobody paying 30% more for gas due to Biden’s EOs that ended our energy independence is happy.
Everyone sees a major cost increase in groceries and aren’t buying the hype out of the Fed or even AOC’s latest ‘tax the rich’ song and dance at the $35,000 a ticket (she got hers for free) NY Met Gala.
The IC is leaking like a sieve to highlight how Joe and Ho knew all about the pending collapse of the Afghan government; The rest of us want to know why all the generals and all the neocons of both parties lied to us for two decades. Thousands dead and injured and $2 trillion spent on what? Where’s our infrastructure? Yeah, Joe’ll fix that.
Thirteen American soldiers were killed in that suicide bombing and Joe kept looking at his watch, show just how much respect he had for them and thier service to the Republic. Austin and Milley know it is White Supremecists(!) who are the danger to the America.
Blinken just admitted under oath he had lied under oath about the number of Americans left in Afghanistan.
Cases! Cases! Cases! Mandatory Vax.
OSHA emgency rules, after months of vacinations being free and readily available. Right. USPS unions are exempt. The first 99 employees of your company are exempt, it is only employee 100 who is dangerous. Deny employment, deny health care, deny free movement of Americans. Seperate and not equal. The numerous photos of unmasked elites, from the Obama 400 person party with the rich to AOC’s latest who the elitests believe they are suppior and the rest of us “non-essential” subjects who must obey.
College kids and even NYC teachers are chanting “F*** Joe Biden”. (Alinsky’s Rule 5 and 6 are in full play).
Biden’s manipulators are desperate to get a little more looting and cultural restructuring done before what is left of their credibility collapses. China and every other adversary are happy to take advantage.
Fred, the voters last time didn’t notice that Morrison was a religious nut, they focused instead on the opposition leader: Bill Shorten, who was not only lacking in anything that could be called charisma, but he and his wife were already packing up their house and preparing to move to the official residence! Voters hated his presumption.
Since then, Morrison has back-pedalled on anything that could be construed as change, he is in favor of traditional roles for women, against sex – ed in schools, slowed the roll out of vaccines, etc., etc. …and I’m a natural member of his constituency and even I can’t stand his preachy moralistic BS, especially when it appears that a lot of it is hypocritical sham.
Always a bad idea to let the Brits do the thinking for the “Dumb Giant” that the U.S. has become.
George Soros is livid, the Chinese are looking out for their citizens instead of the shareholders.
A brief summary on the Evergrande issue from what I managed to gather from friends and family in China:
The rumours regarding their financial trouble started last year.
No one was expecting such a sudden collapse, given the connections of the owner with the ruling class.
They rapidly expanded all over China and in sectors completely irrelevant to their core business, such as renewable energy and car manufacturing. They also were allowed (licensed) to sell investment products. Combined with the recession in the construction sector, it created the perfect storm. Long story short the company has serious cashflow issues.
While the big investors, such as banks and funds, already started legal proceedings, the tens of thousands of small time investors are laying siege to the company offices all over the place.
The government moved in and appointed the court in GuangZhou where Evergrande’s headquarters are located as manager of their assets and forced Evergrande to prepare various compensation packages which were proposed to these small time investors and are now waiting if this will defuse the situation and to what degree.
Walrus, thank you.
It is often easier to defeat your friends than your foes.
Australia is on the front line of the imminent danger posed by Chinese aggression.
As the area is maritime, China will be countered first by Australian maritime forces, mainly submarine.
But Australia is weak. Its submarines are running out of steam. In an incomprehensible gesture of distraction, it has chosen to rely entirely on French submarine technology.
This is of course an abdication of its international responsibilities. It is unbearable and worrying for the defense of the free world.
To counter this and in a burst of total generosity, USA (and UK as a friendly ex-power) is offering Australia its technology and know-how in these fields, including nuclear boilers.
I think that the French naval industry could respond by offering our latest nuclear-powered submarines.
More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_submarine_Suffren
It is worth remembering that all the Royal Navy’s submarine detection technology is French design (Thales). Thales is international : 60000 employees in France, 7000 in UK, approximate figures.
If I understand it correctly the original deal with France was done in 2016 and was worth around 56 billion Euros. It was apparently described as the “deal of the century” at the time. Every press report I read talks about the French being “upset” & “betrayed”. So does France have the worst contract lawyers in the world or will there be some retaliation for the cancellation? Thanks.
I don’t know. France is not accustomed to retaliation against the big guy in the room.
At most, it is said that a fierce press campaign was conducted in Australia, with political maneuvering, against this contract. But by whom? Moreover, the original 56 billion has swelled to 80-90 billion. This does not speak well for the seriousness of the shipyard or its inability to resist political pressure. Because, in the past, Naval Group has always been serious and at the top of technology.
Journalistic or public reactions are rather weak. Just whining.
The only material information comes from the mayor of Cherbourg. The Australian contract implied the hiring of a large number of staff. Hence a consequent real estate project. This project falls through. Lamentations.
We remain the country of superficiality.
Walrus, didn’t realize your PM is as you write a “religious nut”. So from some searching I see he is a member of an Assemblies of God church. I guess that makes him a dissenter from the Established Church and hence “nut”. AoG has a fairly large presence in the US. The Pentacostal movement in general has come under attack as consisting of “snake handlers”, “poison drinkers” and “speakers in tongues”. I think that is a bit of a caricature as their theology seems more rooted in traditional Wesleyan Methodism ideas of sanctification.
Impressive Walrus ,
“Biden and UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines in new pushback on China”
“The US and UK plan to dispatch technical and strategic teams to identify the best pathway for Australia to acquire nuclear submarines over the next 18 months.”
I would love to her comments on what the armaments will be in these Australian subs. I can’t imagine these subs will carry useless conventional arms against a Goliath such as China.
Torpedos still sink ships.
“China has 1.4 billion people, a government obsessed with economic growth, energy usage that accounts for 25% of the world’s total,…. Oil and gas constitute a rising 30% of China’s total energy demand.”
You can do a similar exercise for coal. When you consider the push for EV you should understand that most of the battery supplied would be made in China. We are busily increasing their capability to move away from oil for some portion of their vehicle use and doing so at our expense.
Harlan, the subs will carry cruise missiles and torpedoes, probably similar to the newer Virginia class or maybe even a copy of the Virginia class. They’d be armed with Tomahawks, Harpoons, Mark 48 torpedoes, maybe medium range ballistic missiles and even a laser weapon. No nuclear weapons by design and treaty restrictions. Those conventional weapons are far from useless.
As Harlan just reported, “Australia, the US and the UK have announced an historic new defence pact, proposed as the AUKUS alliance, in response to an increasingly “complex” Indo-Pacific. The pact will will also see Australia acquire its first fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.” What is noticeable is that NZ is out. What is also remarkable is that this wasn’t leaked beforehand. In hindsight, this tracks with the prominent part the UK and especially Australia played in the last major PACOM exercise so unimaginatively called “Large Scale Exercise 2021” that tested out the multi-domain operations doctrine.
NZ is a nuke free zone no?
Yes, I would think that’s the primary reason NZ isn’t included in this new alliance.
Japan and South Korea must be very happy to not be part of that agreement.
When are South Korea and Japan going to get their own nuclear subs? We and Australia cannot do it all.
I do not know what is going on with China but I do not like it. They have been directing a lot of aggressive remarks towards their big trading partner Australia. I have been assuming we are the real target of what they have been saying. A lot of what gets directed to Taiwan and other places is meant for us, too.
We have said in public that an era with China has ended. Yet we keep allowing Chinese tourists, students and workers and businesses to operate about the same as ever. I worry but I don’t understand our inertia.
I see at the Daily Mail that former Australian Labor Prime Minister greatly objects to the sub purchase.
It is impossible to read this and not feel uneasy:
“Mr Keating said Australia had experienced difficulty in running ‘a bunch of Australian built conventional submarines’.
‘Imagine the difficulty in moving to sophisticated nuclear submarines, their maintenance and operational complexity,’ he noted.”
He also says this:
“The arrangement would witness a further dramatic loss of Australian sovereignty, as materiel dependency on the United States robbed Australia of any freedom or choice in any engagement Australia may deem appropriate.”
He talks very plainly about how our inability to deal with the Taliban is a negative reflection on our ability to deal with China. Well he may be right but he does not suggest who else should take over our role.
He lacks confidence in us for other reasons too:
“When it comes to conflict, particularly among great powers, land beats water every time.
It has to be remembered that China is a continental power and the United States is a naval power.”
“China also banned feminine-looking male celebrities and ordered that people under 18 were only allowed to play video games for three hours a week.”
Is this a cultural Revolution or a cultural Reaction?