Australia is breaking with its principles. It buys nuclear-powered submarines in America and Britain. Even with the announcement of the construction, tensions in the Indo-Pacific will skyrocket.

Beijing will now be forced to push ahead with its foray into the world's key supply chains, mineral resources and fishing grounds even faster and more vigorously. It must recognize that the American-led democracies are finally taking seriously their intention to put China within its limits.

Once the Australian boats are delivered and American nuclear submarines are serviced in Australia, it will be more difficult for Beijing to reach for Taiwan.

Australia is risking a lot: with backing from Washington, it is taking on by far its most important trading partner. This lends geoeconomic weight to Australia's current major trade mission to India, which will soon be the world's third-largest economy. Even if India will not be able to be a replacement for the Chinese market for a long time.