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Malaysia and Indonesia ‘concerned and worried’ AUKUS could prompt Asia regional arms race

Malaysia and Indonesia have said they share solid reservations over Australia’s choice to secure nuclear-powered submarines, despite the fact that nuclear weapons were not part of the plan.

Referring to AUKUS, a three sided security settlement concurred last month between Australia, the United States and Britain, Malaysia’s Foreign Minister, Saifuddin Abdullah, said the two South-East Asian countries were likewise worried about its implications.

“We agree on the latest issue in the region regarding a country near our territory that is purchasing new nuclear-powered submarines,” Mr Saifuddin told a joint news conference after a meeting counterpart Retno Marsudi.

“Even though that country doesn’t have the capacity for nuclear weapons, we are worried and concerned.”

Indonesia last month said it was concerned AUKUS could prompt a regional arms race.

The deal comes in the midst of expanding strains in the East and South China Seas, conductors for trillions of dollars of shipments adding up to about 33% of global trade.

The Philippines, a US defence treaty partner, has supported AUKUS, saying it offers a vital counterbalance to an inexorably assertive China.

Malaysia previously said it would look for sees on the issue with China and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Indonesian and Malaysian priests likewise communicated disillusionment with the Myanmar junta’s absence of progress in implementing a concurred peace plan with ASEAN.

ASEAN on Friday chose to avoid junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, who led a February 1 coup, from a forthcoming regional meeting, in an exceptional reprimand by the bloc.

ASEAN would keep on offering humanitarian help to Myanmar, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said.

The foreign ministers additionally said they were in conversations regarding beginning a travel corridor between Indonesia and Malaysia, and had consented to finalise maritime sea borders in southern Malacca and the Sulawesi Sea.