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Indo-Pacific

U.S.-China rivalry flares undersea with Australia submarine deal

AUKUS pact spurred by Washington's fear of losing Indo-Pacific dominance

The U.S. is believed to have superior submarine technology to China, though Beijing is working to expand both the size and capabilities of its fleet.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON/BEIJING -- The crux of the AUKUS defense pact announced Wednesday by the U.S., the U.K. and Australia is an arrangement that will give Canberra its first nuclear-powered submarines and boost the naval power of another American ally in the Pacific.

Underwater warfare has emerged as the next area of competition in the U.S.-China military rivalry, now that China is believed to have significantly reduced America's dominance of the skies.

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