The Globe and Mail reported on the development, adding that Ottawa wishes to be part of the bloc that was created in a 2021 deal to counter China's military influence. A source told the newspaper that the Canadian federal government is now waiting for the reactions of Washington, London and Canberra toward its possible membership. The source noted that Ottawa already shares intelligence with individual bloc members, and it could simply expand those efforts once it is brought on board.
Initially, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had no interest in joining the security pact that would provide Australia with U.S. nuclear submarines. But two unnamed officials told the Globe and Mail that the Canadian leader has changed his mind. (Related: Australia to buy up to 5 nuclear-powered submarines from the US – and China isn't happy about it.)
"Canada's reason for wanting to join now is not to acquire nuclear-powered submarines like Australia, but rather to participate in the second pillar of the AUKUS agreement," the outlet reported. This second pillar would include "information-sharing and close cooperation on accelerating development of cutting-edge technologies" such as "undersea defense capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technology and hypersonic warfare."
Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand declined to give a direct answer on whether Ottawa had submitted a formal application to become a party to the AUKUS deal. She instead remarked that the Canadian government is "highly interested in furthering cooperation on AI, quantum computing and other advanced technologies with a defense nexus with our closest allies."
"Our ties with our Five Eyes allies are strong, and indeed we remain interested in furthering cooperation in AI and other innovation efforts with our allies," said Anand.
Canada is not the only country to express its intent to join the AUKUS bloc. New Zealand also wants to join the group, but its involvement will only extend to the non-nuclear components of the deal just like Canada.
New Zealand's Defense Minister Andrew Little announced the country's willingness to join AUKUS back in March, according to a report by Russia Today (RT). In a statement, he reiterated that Wellington's legal and moral commitments to remain nuclear-free still stand. New Zealand also hopes to participate in the development of military technology such as AI, quantum computing and advanced information technology when it becomes part of AUKUS.
"We have been offered the opportunity to talk about whether we could or wish to participate in that pillar two [non-nuclear] aspect of it," Little said. "I've indicated, we will be willing to explore it."
But according to the defense minister, the country's Defense Force may have to upgrade some of its equipment – especially those related to communications – if it wants to join the bloc and keep up with American and Australian standards. According to Little, some of the country's military technology is "increasingly obsolete."
China has repeatedly decried the AUKUS bloc, which was established to deter Beijing's influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Wang Wenbin, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in March that the bloc's three founding nations "have gone further down the wrong and dangerous path for their own geopolitical self-interest."
Wang warned that the AUKUS deal would only "motivate an arms race; damage the international nuclear nonproliferation regime; and harm regional stability and peace."
Visit NationalSecurity.news for more stories about the AUKUS bloc and other countries wanting to join it.
Watch former U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper lauding the AUKUS deal to supply nuclear submarines to Australia as an appropriate deterrent to Beijing.
This video is from the Chinese taking down EVIL CCP channel on Brighteon.com.