UK, US and Australia form military alliance against Chinese threat
The UK has announced a new defense partnership with the US and Australia as Western allies seek to control China’s growing power in the Indo-Pacific.
On Wednesday evening, in a joint statement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the creation of a “new trilateral defense partnership”.
Mr Johnson said the alliance, known by its acronym Aukus, would work “hand in hand to preserve security and stability in the Indo-Pacific”.
China was not mentioned in the transcontinental briefing, but there were frequent references to developments in the region.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace insisted that the new security pact between the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia was not intended to “send a message to China”.
He told Times Radio, âThis is not about sending a message to China.
“This is Australia looking for a new capability because it felt its current program to acquire a diesel-electric submarine was not going to give it strategic reach or, in fact , the undetectability it would need to provide a deterrent. “
Speaking from Australia, Prime Minister Morrison said the world “is getting more and more complex, especially in our region, the Indo-Pacific,” and said the future of the area geopolitics “will have an impact on all our futures”.
Mr Biden, who thanked “Boris” and “that guy from below” for their contributions, said that “the future of each of our nations and, indeed, the world depends on a free Indo-Pacific and open, sustainable and flourishing in the decades to come “.
Watch: The recent arrival of the UK Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea has caught Beijing’s attention.
Downing Street hailed the deal as a “historic defense and security partnership” and said it “will protect and defend our common interests in the Indo-Pacific.”
Officials said closer collaboration would allow increased technology sharing and “foster deeper integration of science, technology, industrial bases and supply chains related to security and defense.” .
The first initiative under Aukus will be for the three allies to work together to secure nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy – a move that will increase Western security capabilities in the Pacific.
The initial phase of scoping the submarines is expected to take 18 months, with the UK government predicting that the program “will create hundreds of highly skilled scientific and engineering positions” across the country, as well as boost investment in high-tech industries. technology.
Mr Wallace said Britain was not part of the “fishing” whether to build nuclear-powered submarines for Australia, after France was irritated by the move.
He told Sky News: âWe didn’t look for those opportunities, basically the Australians decided they wanted a different ability.
“We have no intention of doing anything to upset the French – the French are some of our closest military allies in Europe, we are large and comparable forces and we are doing things together.”
In a live broadcast from Downing Street, the Prime Minister said the partnership would make the world a safer place.
Johnson said: âWe are opening a new chapter in our friendship.
“Perhaps most importantly, the UK, Australia and the US will be united even more closely, reflecting the measure of trust between us, the depth of our friendship and the enduring strength of our shared values ââof freedom and democracy.
“Now the UK will embark on this project alongside our allies, making the world a safer place and creating jobs across the UK.”
Mr Johnson also said Scotland and parts of northern England and the Midlands would feel the benefits of work on nuclear-powered submarines, with the government keen to tap into the Royal Navy’s decades of knowledge on the use of such machines.