Australia won’t promise to side with US in Taiwan conflict
By ROD McGUIRK
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles says his country made no promises to the United States that Australia would support its ally in any future conflict over Taiwan in exchange for American nuclear-powered submarines. U.S. President Joe Biden and the leaders of Australia and the United Kingdom announced last week that Australia would purchase nuclear-powered attack submarines from the U.S. to modernize its fleet. Australian critics of the deal argue that the U.S. would not hand over as many as five of its Virginia-class submarines without assurances that they would be made available in a conflict with China over Taiwan. But Marles told Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Sunday that his government gave the United States no assurances over Taiwan.