Australia tidak hirau kemarahan China isu kapal selam nuklear

© Provided by Berita Harian Perdana Menteri Australia, Scott Morrison. – Foto AFP

SYDNEY: Australia tidak mengendahkan kemarahan China terhadap keputusan negara itu membeli kapal selam nuklear Amerika Syarikat (AS) sebaliknya bertekad untuk mempertahankan undang-undang berkaitan ruang udara dan perairan.

Sebelum ini, Beijing mengemukakan tuntutan yang dipertikaikan terhadap ruang udara dan perairan termasuk di hampir semua Laut China Selatan yang bernilai trilion dolar dalam industri pelayaran perdagangannya setiap tahun.

Presiden AS, Joe Biden Rabu lalu mengumumkan pakatan pertahanan baharu membabitkan negara itu, Australia dan Britain dengan memperluaskan teknologi kapal selam, selain pertahanan siber, kecerdasan buatan dan kemampuan bawah laut ke Australia.

Beijing bagaimanapun menggambarkan pakatan baharu itu sebagai ancaman yang sangat tidak bertanggungjawab kepada kestabilan di rantau ini.

Beijing turut mempersoalkan komitmen Australia terhadap pengawalan senjata nuklear, sekali gus memberi amaran terhadap sekutu Barat itu bahawa tindakan mereka itu akan memakan diri sendiri.

Perdana Menteri Australia, Scott Morrison, melalui sesi temubual di stesen radio 2GB mempertikaikan tindakan China itu.

“China mempunyai program pembangunan kapal selam nuklear yang sangat kukuh. 

“Mereka mempunyai hak untuk membuat keputusan demi kepentingan negara mereka bagi urusan pertahanan, begitu juga dengan Australia dan negara lain,” katanya.

Melalui beberapa siri temubual media, pemimpin Australia itu berkata, kerajaannya bertindak balas terhadap perubahan dinamik di wilayah Asia-Pasifik di mana berlaku peningkatan tuntutan dan persaingan.

Sementara itu, melalui temubual di stesen televisyen saluran tujuh, beliau mengakui bahawa Australia sangat menyedari kemampuan kapal selam nuklear China dan pelaburan ketenteraan mereka yang semakin tinggi.

“Kita berminat untuk memastikan perairan antarabangsa tetap kekal sebagai perairan antarabangsa begitu juga dengan ruang udara antarabangsa di mana peraturan dikuatkuasakan secara saksama di semua aspek ini,” katanya.

Morrison berkata, pakatan pertahanan baharu ini adalah bersifat kekal selepas melalui sesi rundingan selama 18 bulan bersama AS dan Britain, sekali gus membabitkan komitmen utuh bagi hubungan panjang ini yang bakal menyaksikan Australia kekal selamat pada masa depan.

Katanya, pakatan pertahanan ini juga diterima baik oleh pemimpin dari Jepun, India, Singapura, New Zealand, Fiji dan Papua New Guinea selepas melalui sesi rundingan.

Tindakan Australia itu bagaimanapun mencetuskan kemarahan Perancis kerana kehilangan kontrak untuk membekalkan kapal selam konvensional ke Australia yang bernilai AUD50 bilion (RM152 bilion) ketika ditandatangani pada tahun 2016.

Menteri Luar Negeri Perancis, Jean-Yves Le Drian, menyatakan ia adalah satu bentuk tindakan tikam belakang dari Australia. – AFP

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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