Biden, UK, Australia 1st Joint Indo-Pacific Alliance is a security alliance formed by the United States and its allies. President Biden announced that the United States is forging a new Indo-Pacific security partnership with the United Kingdom and Australia.
The cooperation would enable increased defense capacity sharing, including assisting Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines. It is a step that risks widening the gulf between the United States and China.
Biden appeared virtually alongside British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to discuss the new alliance, named AUKUS (pronounced AWK-us). The three companies announced that they would immediately begin work on constructing nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.
Boris Johnson has affirmed a new national security alliance with the US and Australian leaders in an attempt to thwart China’s Indo-Pacific ambitions.
According to authorities, Biden’s new alliance with the United Kingdom and Australia is intended to stand up to China.
The prime minister addressed a joint news conference with US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to announce the AUKUS alliance, seeing the three countries pool their expertise in cyber warfare and artificial intelligence.
The alliance’s first objective, codenamed “AUUKUS,” is to acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia. The fleet would be nuclear weapons-free.
Biden, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to uphold their commitments under nuclear proliferation treaties.
“We all recognize the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term,” said Biden, adding that the new alliance mirrors a broader trend of major European allies taking an interest in the Indo-Pacific. “We need to be prepared to meet both the region’s current strategic environment and its potential evolution.”
A Possible Retaliatory Move Over China
The new strategic alliance is likely to be viewed as aggressive by China, which has regularly struck out at Biden during his early presidency as he sought to refocus US foreign policy on the Pacific.
The three nations have agreed to share artificial intelligence, cyber security, and underwater defensive systems.
However, Beijing is sure to take note of plans to assist Australia in procuring nuclear-powered submarines. The United States has shared nuclear propulsion technology with only one country: the United Kingdom. Morrison stated that Australia is not pursuing a nuclear weapons program and that intelligence sharing will be confined to assisting the country in developing a submarine fleet.
Biden, UK, Australia 1st Joint Indo-Pacific Alliance and Australia-France Submarine Agreement
The joint declaration also confirms that the US will equip Australia with a nuclear-powered submarine, following Scott Morrison’s administration’s cancellation of a $90 billion submarine deal with France.
The Australian Prime Minister stated that plans for the nuclear-powered submarines will be developed over the next 18 months and that the vessels will be built in Adelaide.
The unveiling of the new strategic alliance comes amid a deterioration in the US-China relationship. Beijing has taken issue with Biden administration officials repeatedly criticizing China for human rights violations in Xianjing province, the crackdown on democracy activists in Hong Kong, and cybersecurity breaches originating in China, as well as Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and what the White House has described as “coercive and unfair” trade practices.
Despite the White House’s repeated criticism of China, administration officials say they want to work with Beijing on areas of mutual interest, such as containing the pandemic and combating climate change.
Although China was not referenced during the live briefing, repeated allusions to the shifting situation in the region were made, which follows recent tensions between Beijing and Australia.
Mr. Johnson stated that the alliance would work “hand-in-glove” to maintain Indo-Pacific security and stability.