UK, US, And Australia Announce Indo-Pacific Security Pact

Australia, United Kingdom, and the United States have announced the formation of an enhanced trilateral security partnership in the Indo- Pacific region.

The White House said this new architecture is aimed “to build stronger partnerships to sustain peace and stability across the entire Indo-Pacific region”, and about “deepening cooperation on a range of defense capabilities for the 21st century”.

The partnership, named AUKUS, will see the United States and Britain provide Australia with the technology and capability to acquire and deploy a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the launch of a trilateral effort involving technical, strategic and navy teams from their countries to identify the optimal pathway of delivery of this capability in 18 months.

The only other country that the United States has shared this kind of nuclear technology for propulsion is Britain, which dates back to 1958.

Announcing the Creation of AUKUS, Morrison made it clear that Australia has no intention of pursuing nuclear weapons or establishing a civil nuclear capability.

The submarines, powered by nuclear reactors, will be built in Adelaide.

“Our world is becoming more complex, especially here in our region, the Indo-Pacific,” the Australian leader said in apparent reference to China. “This affects us all. The future of the Indo-Pacific will impact all our futures,” he added.

Bide said, “This initiative is about making sure that each of us has a modern capability — the most modern capabilities we need — to maneuver and defend against rapidly evolving threats.”

“This will be one of the most complex and technically demanding projects in the world, lasting for decades and requiring the most advanced technology,” according to Johnson.

A joint statement issued by the leaders said, “Australia is committed to adhering to the highest standards for safeguards, transparency, verification, and accountancy measures to ensure the non-proliferation, safety, and security of nuclear material and technology.”

Under the pact, the allies will collaborate with focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities.

The historic pact, seen as a move to counter China’s supremacy in the region, met with instant protest by Beijing. Condemning it as an “extremely irresponsible” agreement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said it “seriously undermines regional peace and stability and intensifies the arms race.”

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