Was Canada invited to join AUKUS? Officials mum but stress no interest in subs

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Canadian federal officials say a new intelligence pact between the US, Britain and Australia will not affect the country’s ability to protect key interests in the Indo-Pacific – but will not say whether Canada should actually join the treaty. was given the opportunity or not.

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Known as the AUKUS agreement, the agreement is being billed by the White House as a game-changing security partnership in the region, described by the commander of the Australian Navy as The “epicentre” of the “rapidly deteriorating” geopolitical environment.

“In the Indo-Pacific, military modernization is taking place at an unprecedented rate … the technological edge achieved by Australia and its allies is eroding,” the Australian deputy administrator said. Michael Noonan in the video announcement of the deal.


“It is now more important than ever that our Navy is able to counter and respond to threats in our region.”

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According to The Guardian newspaper, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that her country’s officials “Wasn’t contacted, nor would I expect us to be” About joining the deal.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not say on Thursday whether Canada was offered a place in the new deal, but said Canada does not want nuclear submarines that the deal would allow Australia to use using US and UK technology. will allow construction to begin.

“This is a deal for nuclear submarines for which Canada is not in the market at present or anytime soon,” he said Thursday of Canada’s absence from the deal.

China furious over US security alliance with UK, Australia

Trudeau did not mention that the deal also includes provisions to boost cooperation between the three countries on cyber security and artificial intelligence – the latter of which as key capabilities in a key 2017 position paper on the future of the Canadian military. was emphasized.

Artificial intelligence, as part of the government’s emphasis on building globally competitive, future-looking industrial capabilities, has been a recurring focus for liberals in recent years.

Former Vice Chief of Defense Staff of Canada and former Navy Chief, retired Vice-Ad. Mark Norman called out Trudeau’s comments about not joining the deal due to the lack of a plan to acquire nuclear submarines. “Incorrect” and “misleading” in one Twitter post.

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“This #AUKUS arrangement is much more than the new #Submarines; It is about sharing information and technology,” he tweeted.

The agreement is widely seen as a bid by the US, UK and Australia to counter increasing Chinese aggression and military technological advances around the Indo-Pacific region, which includes the South China Sea International Navigation Route.

China has been increasingly aggressive in the region in recent years, ignoring international law as its leaders insist on a territorial foothold with man-made islands.

Analysis: A new ‘cold war’ is developing between China and the US

Brett Bruen, an adviser and former US diplomat, told The Canadian Press that Canada wants to keep its distance from the deal to avoid escalating current tensions with China.

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But a government source told Granthshala News that “apparently” Canada’s absence from the agreement has nothing to do with growing concerns from China, which has detained two Canadians for more than 1,000 days.

The source downplayed the impact of the agreement on Canada, saying it had no hope it would exclude Canada from any intelligence sharing, but did not say whether Canada would allow any access to advanced cyber and artificial technology capabilities. What can be lost can be shared through treaty.

While the source said Canada had already been made aware of the deal, when asked by Granthshala News he repeatedly did not explicitly answer whether Canada had to go into it, saying publicly before the government. It was proposed to join that there was no interest in being a part of it. Deal on Thursday.

—With files from The Canadian Press

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