The United States has launched a new trilateral security partnership between the United Kingdom and Australia that will allow Canberra to build a fleet of nuclear submarines. This is a move to strengthen the capabilities of allies against China.
President Joe Biden has announced efforts aimed at strengthening the alliance amid growing tensions with China over the conflict from the South China Sea to Taiwan. Virtual event Wednesday night with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Biden said the initiative, including the submarine program, is a rhetoric that appears to be aimed at Beijing and is needed to ensure that countries have the best technology to “protect themselves from rapidly evolving threats.” rice field.
“Our country … literally stood side by side for over 100 years,” he said. “Today we have taken another historic step to deepen and formalize cooperation .. .. It is imperative that we all ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Because we are aware of
U.S. officials said Australia would acquire nuclear propulsion technology, but the United States would only share it with Britain, but Canberra would not develop nuclear weapons. Biden also emphasized that submarines would not be armed with nuclear weapons.
U.S. officials said these ships would enhance Australia’s naval capabilities because they are faster and more stealth than traditional submarines. Submarines can also operate far away from Australia, including the South China Sea, and do not need to surface as often.
Morrison said allies need to take their partnerships to a “new level” as the Asian environment becomes more complex. Johnson said they were “opening a new chapter” and would work “in gloves to maintain safety and stability” in Asia.
In addition to helping Australia build a nuclear submarine force, leaders said they would support cooperation in areas such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
One British official said the alliance will focus on maritime and defense technology, in contrast to the “Five Eyes” agreement, where the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada share information.
US officials, said Biden was not told about the initiative to the Chinese Xi Jinping Two leaders spoke last week.. A new partnership (called AUKUS) was formed a week before Biden would welcome leaders from Japan, India and Australia for the first face-to-face summit of “Quad”. The Quad Security Group is also designed to compete with China, which Beijing describes as “NATO in Asia.”
The Chinese embassy in Washington criticized Tuesday’s move, saying the United States, Britain and Australia “should not build targeted and exclusive blocks.” .. .. Third party interests “.
“They should shake off the Cold War spirit and ideological prejudices,” added embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu.
Kori Shake, head of foreign and defense policy at the American Enterprise Institute, said Wednesday’s agreement would send a strong signal to Beijing.
“Australia has an alliance with technology and impresses with an elegant message that if the threat posed by China becomes very serious, it could become a nuclear power,” said Shake. “that [is] Also . .. .. This is a good opportunity for the Biden administration to show its commitment to the security of its allies after the catastrophe. US withdrawal from Afghanistan.. “
Australian media said Canberra will end its existing $ 90 billion program to purchase 12 French-designed conventional submarines. Officials said the allies would decide how to build the fleet over the next 18 months.
“This is a fundamental decision that decisively binds Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom for generations,” said a US official.
Richard Fontaine, director of the Center for a New American Security, said submarines not only give Australia great capabilities, but especially in criticism that China outperforms the United States in building naval vessels and submarines. He said it was a “big deal” to help Washington. ..
“The real measure of comparison is that one is China and the other is not the United States. One is China and the other is the United States and its allies,” Fontaine said.
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