Australian, British, and U.S. Communists jointly condemn AUKUS nuke sub deal
U.S. Navy

NEW YORK—The Communist Parties of Australia, Britain, and the United States have come together to condemn the nuclear submarine pact recently concluded by the leaders of their nations, denouncing the purchase deal as the basis for an anti-China military alliance.

Representatives of the three parties met this month to discuss the implications of the agreement announced by U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in September. The CPs simultaneously issued a joint statement against the treaty on Oct. 21.

The new military pact—dubbed AUKUS (Australia-U.K.-U.S.)—will see the United States and Britain provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines to patrol the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It was trashed as a threat to “regional peace and stability” by China when announced. The country sees itself as the obvious target of a U.S.- and British-supplied Australian atomic fleet.

Australian, British, and U.S. Communists agree.

“In the face of declining U.S. economic power, AUKUS aims to tie Australia even more tightly to U.S. imperialism’s plans to contain and control the People’s Republic of China and to consolidate Australia as a U.S. launching pad for coercion and even war,” the parties declared.

The Communist Parties of Australia, Britain, and the United States have jointly condemned the AUKUS nuclear submarine pact as a threat to peace in the Asia-Pacific region.

The deal comes amid the backdrop of a years-long military build-up by the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region that has been characterized by many analysts as the early stages of a new Cold War intended to constrain China’s growing economy and restrict its international influence.

The Communists see the pact as an attempt to prop up flagging U.S. and British imperial power and say it undermines Australian independence.

“The U.S. and U.K. feel the world slipping through their fingers, prompting ever greater aggressiveness,” the statement says. “Instead of seeking to peacefully join a multilateral world as equal partners, they are turning to military alliances to try to hold onto their fading power.”

With Morrison selling out control over his country’s foreign policy, the CPs say AUKUS is “an aggressive and destabilizing military alliance which jettisons what vestiges of sovereignty Australia still retained.” Australian Communists see the sub deal as opening the door to a possible Australian nuclear weapons capacity.

The U.S. has been eagerly courting Australia for some time, hoping to tear it away from its close economic ties with China. By embarking upon a tighter military embrace with U.S. imperialism, Australia’s government is taking a significant financial gamble. Despite recent trade disagreements with China, the country remains Australia’s largest trading partner, by far. As of early 2021, China took in nearly 40% of all Australian exports. The U.S., by contrast, bought only 11% of what Australia produces for the world market.

Morrison has been an eager accomplice in the effort to pivot his country toward Washington. The U.S. has also recruited Australia into another military arrangement—the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad.” The latter includes India and Japan and is another anti-China quasi-alliance.

Both the U.S. and Britain have been sailing warships in the region in provocations aimed at China; the new Australian nuclear subs will be joining in the effort.

Speaking to People’s World following the release of the joint Communist statement, the CPUSA’s International Secretary, Alvaro Rodriguez, said, “This AUKUS military agreement is a mini-NATO against China in the Indo-Pacific.” He called it “a dangerous escalation of Biden’s new Cold War” and said the sale of nuclear submarines to Australia is a violation of the U.N.’s nuclear non-proliferation treaty. “We say no to the new Cold War against China and no to military blocs!” Rodriguez declared.

Calling on the peace and environmental movements, trade unions, churches, and other organizations, the three Communist Parties urged broad opposition to the submarine pact. They demand their three nations sign and implement the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, replace military alliances with multilateralism and diplomacy, and enact major cuts to wasteful war spending.

They pinpoint the advancing Cold War against China as a threat to the “future of the planet,” and say that rather than aggressive arms races, the U.S., Britain, and Australia should be investing resources into “production that meets human needs.”

Read the full text of the AUKUS statement from the Communist Parties of Australia, Britain, and the U.S.A., as well as related People’s World coverage:

> U.S. and U.K.’s nuclear submarine pact with Australia targets China

> Nuclear submarine pact uses Australian people as pawns in new Cold War


C.J. Atkins
C.J. Atkins

C.J. Atkins is the managing editor at People's World. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from York University in Toronto and has a research and teaching background in political economy and the politics and ideas of the American left. In addition to his work at People's World, C.J. currently serves as the Deputy Executive Director of ProudPolitics.