United States President Joe Biden personally raised China’s wave of trade strikes against Australia with Xi Jinping, as a top American official warned that Beijing wanted to drive Canberra “to its knees” and “break” it through economic coercion.
Kurt Campbell, President Biden’s top adviser on Asia, also said there was a “shared ambition” to deliver Australia a fleet of nuclear submarines under the AUKUS defence pact, saying the move would be “among the most significant things that we accomplish”.
He also confirmed that more American submarines will dock down under and that Australian navy personnel will serve on American ships as the two militaries look to operate more together while building the nuclear-powered fleet.
China has over the past 18 months imposed more than $20 billion of trade strikes on Australian exports in response to a number of decisions including the push for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 and the banning of Chinese telco Huawei from the 5G network.
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