Australia has signed a new security partnership with the United States and Britain to share defense technologies, which analysts say is an attempt to counter a potential threat from China.
British officials have insisted the deal was not a response to a single country, but analysts believe it is a clear sign of concern about China’s military ambitions in the Indo-Pacific. He has said it highlighted the strategic importance of the region to both the United States and Britain.
The new agreement was announced on Wednesday during a virtual joint statement made by President Joe Biden with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
President Biden praised the partnership.
“We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it can develop. Because the future of each of our nations, and indeed the world, is to be sustainable and prosperous in a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Depends on. Decades ahead.”
In a joint statement, the leaders said there were several potential issues of concern, including territorial disputes, terrorism and organized crime.
Analysts said the deal was significant because it allows Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time. In Canberra, the government has insisted that submarines will not carry nuclear weapons.
The alliance – known by its acronym, “Ocus” – will also include artificial intelligence, quantum technology and cyber security. Johnson said the three nations were “natural allies”. Morrison said the agreement would boost regional security.
“The future of the Indo-Pacific will affect all of our futures. To meet these challenges, we must now take our partnership to a whole new level, to help provide security and stability to our region. A partnership that strives not to exclude, not to contribute, not to take away, and to enable and empower, not to control or coerce. And, therefore, friends AUKUS is born, ”he said.
However, news reports from Australia suggest that the cancellation of a multi-billion dollar submarine defense deal with France would lead to extreme diplomatic tensions between the two countries. The Australian government says the deal will be scrapped because of Australia’s plans to build nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS security agreement with the United States and Britain.
For decades, Australia has sought protection with defense and intelligence agreements.
Another security treaty “ANZUS” between the US, Australia and New Zealand recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. Australia is also an active member of the Five Eyes coalition, which includes the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand. The Five Eyes Coalition was created after World War II to oversee the Soviet Union.
Australian officials have said nuclear-powered submarines will enter service in the mid-2030s.
The leader of the Greens, a small left-wing center party, Adam Bandt, said on Twitter that the move was “dangerous” and would put Chernobyl “floating in the middle of Australia’s cities”, referring to a nuclear power accident at Chernobyl. Nuclear power plant in Ukraine in 1986.