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Australia's nuclear submarine deal is a serious worry for China

Decision to partner with U.S. and U.K. will have major knock-on effects

| Australia
Attack submarine USS Tucson is underway during an exercise: the type of design Canberra will choose will likely mirror the U.S. Los Angeles-class boats.   © U.S. Navy/Reuters

Admiral James Stavridis was 16th Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and 12th Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He spent the bulk of his operational career in the Pacific, and is author of "2034: A Novel of the Next World War."

The sudden decision by Australia to switch from purchasing 12 French-made diesel submarines to buying eight vastly more capable -- and much more expensive -- nuclear-powered attack boats from the U.S., has signaled a dramatic shift in Asia's geopolitical and military balance of power.

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