The UK, US and Australia have come into agreement to commence a historic security pact in the Asia-Pacific, in what’s seen as a major effort to counter China.
As is the agreement, Australia will build eight nuclear-powered submarines in partnership with the United States and Britain, who are to provide the technology. With this, Australia becomes the second country after Britain in 1958 to be given access to U.S. nuclear technology to build nuclear-powered submarines.
The Aukus pact, which will also cover AI and other technologies, is one of the countries’ biggest defence partnerships in decades, analysts say.
The new partnership was announced in a joint virtual press conference between US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Wednesday.
“We all recognise the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term,” Biden said from the White House.
“We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it may evolve because the future of each of our nations – and indeed the world – depends on a free and open Indo-Pacific enduring and flourishing in the decades ahead.”
On his part, Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said that our world was becoming more complex, especially here in the Indo-Pacific.
“To meet these challenges, to help deliver the security and stability our region needs, we must now take our partnership to a new level,” he added.
Meanwhile, France has been riled up as Australia had to withdraw from their 2016 contract to join the new alliance.
“It’s really a stab in the back,” France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Info radio.
China has called it an “extremely irresponsible” threat to regional stability.
The three countries were “severely damaging regional peace and stability, intensifying an arms race, and damaging international nuclear non-proliferation efforts,” spokeswoman, Zhao Lijian told a regular press briefing.