via Getty Images BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
The UK, US and Australia have announced a new tripartite security partnership under the acronym AUUKUS.
The new alliance will see Australia build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines with US and British technology.
AUUKUS appears to be a thinly veiled attempt by Western allies to step back against China’s growing power and influence.
Wednesday night, US President Joe Biden (previous value) Virtually joined on camera by British prime minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, to whom the details of the deal were formally disclosed.
What will AUUKUS do?
The joint announcement confirmed that the United States would supply Canberra with a nuclear-powered submarine and Australia had decided to abandon the submarine deal with France.
In 2016, Australia selected French shipbuilder Naval Group to build a new fleet of submarines worth $40 billion to replace more than two decades of Collins submarines.
At the heart of the announcement was a new working group that would facilitate the sharing of information in key technological areas of the three countries such as artificial intelligence, cyber, underwater systems and long-range attack capabilities.
Nuclear-powered submarines, not weapons
According to Reuters, US officials stressed that the move does not include the supply of nuclear weapons to Australia.
They said the submarines would not be deployed with atomic weapons, but would allow the Australian navy to operate quieter for longer and provide a deterrent in the Indo-Pacific.
Why are you forming an alliance against China?
While none of the world leaders mentioned China at the time of the on-camera announcement, Politico cited sources saying the “subtext” of the move was a proposal by Western allies to “repel China’s rise in the military and technology arenas.”
An attempt to secure an allied nuclear power submarine in the Pacific is seen as a means to “contain Chinese military expansion”.
Earlier this year, in its integrated review of security and foreign policy, the UK government outlined plans for a “slope” focused on the Indo-Pacific with the deployment of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth on its eastern voyage. It’s about sending a message to Beijing and Russia about Britain’s military might.
What did they say?
In a live broadcast announcement on Downing Street, Johnson said the alliance will make the world safer and create jobs in the UK, adding that the aim is to “work hand in hand to maintain security and stability in the Indo-Pacific”.
Johnson added: “Perhaps most importantly, the UK, Australia and the US will join together even more closely, reflecting the scale of trust between us, the depth of our friendship and the enduring strength of our shared values of freedom and democracy. ”
Speaking from Australia, Morrison said the world “is getting more complex, especially in our region, the Indo-Pacific,” and said the future of the geopolitical region “will affect our entire future”.
Biden thanked “Boris” and “the man below” for their contributions, adding that “the future of each of our nations, and indeed of the world, depends on the enduring and flourishing of a free and open Indo-Pacific for decades to come.” .