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AUKUS treaty no threat to Indo-Pacific stability: US envoy

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US special envoy to North Korea Sung Kim said not worried about arms race or nuclear proliferation

Jakarta:

A defense agreement between Australia, the United States and Britain poses no threat to Indo-Pacific stability and is not aimed at any one country, a US envoy said on Wednesday, amid concerns in a region where China influence is increasing.

Indonesia is concerned that the treaty, known as Aukas, under which Australia would receive nuclear submarine technology from the United States, would worsen an “arms race and power launch” in the region.

Malaysia has similar concerns, while neighboring Philippines, a US treaty ally, are behind it.

US Ambassador to Indonesia Sung Kim told a virtual forum, “This will strengthen our ongoing cooperation with major countries like Indonesia to ensure that we have a free and open Indo-Pacific that respects the rule of law.” does.”

Kim said he was not concerned about an arms race or nuclear proliferation, calling it a “forward-looking, positive” initiative that would work in Indonesia’s favour.

The AUKUS was largely blocked by Western allies in Southeast Asia and beyond, particularly the South China Sea, a conduit for a third of ship-borne trade in which Beijing claims historical sovereignty. is seen as.

Indonesia increased patrols in response to US and Chinese ships earlier this month.

“We are not asking any country, including Indonesia, to choose between the US and any other country,” Kim said of AUKUS, linking the three allies to the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc. Strong respect for

Kim also praised Indonesia’s climate change efforts, particularly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

Asked about his troubled eastern region of Papua, Kim said Washington does not support separatism anywhere but concerns fundamental freedoms in the military and urged dialogue between the government and local communities.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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