Against China. The U.S. has created a new military alliance
The new pact is the most important security arrangement between the three countries since World War II.
The United States, Britain, and Australia, amid growing Chinese influence in the strategically important Indo-Pacific region, have created the triple alliance AUKUS. Among other things, America and Britain will help Australia with nuclear submarines. China is talking about a nuclear race, undermining stability and peace in the region.
On September 15, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the United States is forming a new вЂ” Indo-Pacific вЂ” security alliance, along with two other English-speaking nations, Britain and Australia.
This alliance will allow the participating countries to expand joint defense capabilities, including Australia's decision to strengthen its naval forces with nuclear-powered submarines.
At the same time, Washington stressed that Australia would not be provided with nuclear weapons. "We will continue to fulfill all of our nuclear nonproliferation commitments," Australian Prime Minister Morrison assured.
The decision to form an Indo-Pacific alliance called AUKUS was made in a joint virtual meeting involving Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
"We all recognize the paramount importance of ensuring long-term peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. We need to monitor both the current strategic environment in the region and how it might develop further," Biden said following the meeting.
Johnson said it was important for the three democracies, each with long ocean coastlines and significant fleets, to strengthen ties, especially in the Pacific region, which, he said, is geopolitically "increasingly complex."
Members of the new defense alliance have also said they will cooperate in areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and cyberspace.
Washington stresses that the partnership is not aimed at any one country, but experts say the three-nation alliance was a reaction to China's growing power in the Asia-Pacific region and Beijing's aggression toward Taiwan.
Politico magazine, citing two sources among U.S. officials, writes that this is how Western allies want to counter China's military and technological strengthening.
U.S. television station ABC also reports that the new partnership is intended to counter Beijing's regional influence, especially in the disputed South China Sea.
Nuclear submarine fleet for Australia angers France
Nuclear submarines for Australia will be manufactured in Adelaide in the south of the country. According to Morrison, the AUKUS countries will agree on the best way to realize the goal over the next 1.5 years.
The project will make Australia the seventh country in the world to have submarines with nuclear reactors. We are talking about at least eight such facilities.
Due to the new plans, Australia broke a multi-billion dollar contract with France to supply Canberra with submarines. Under the terms of the deal, the French Naval Group was to supply Australia with 12 submarines worth nearly 56 billion euros. These submarines, however, are equipped with conventional, not nuclear, engines.
The Australian prime minister said the cancellation of the contract was due to "a change in challenges," while Biden assured France that it remained an important partner with whom Washington would continue to work closely.
However, France has lashed out at the U.S. and Australia over the unexpected termination of a contract with a French firm. "To put it bluntly, this is just a stab in the back. It is a destruction of trust, and I am very angry," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sept. 16.
He also accused Biden of acting in the style of his predecessor Donald Trump. "We have established a relationship of trust with Australia. That trust is now betrayed ... That's not the way you do things with allies. We talked about all of this with the U.S. very recently and now this breakup. This is out of line," said Le Drian.
For her part, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly called what happened "very bad news for the commitment to the promises made" and a terrible decision in international politics.
"Now we see how the U.S. treats its allies and partners," she said. Parley also pledged to do everything she can to minimize losses for the Naval Group. "It's going to take some explaining. We have contracts. We need the Australians to explain how they intend to get out of this," she said.
Meanwhile, New Zealand says it will prohibit Australian submarines from entering its waters in accordance with existing policies regarding the presence of nuclear submarines.
China declares stability undermined
The Chinese Embassy in Washington reacted to the creation of the U.S., British, and Australian defense alliance AUKUS. The diplomatic mission urged not to create blocs only against third-party interests.
"They should get rid of their Cold War thinking and ideological prejudices," embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu told Reuters.
The fact that Australia will build its own nuclear submarines in cooperation with the United States and Britain harms the international nuclear nonproliferation regime by exacerbating the arms race, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Linjian.
He said cooperation between these countries on nuclear submarines seriously undermines stability in the region, and the export of nuclear technology from the United States and Britain to Australia, which itself has no nuclear weapons, demonstrates these countries' irresponsibility and double standards.
TAGS: ANALYTICS, USA, CHINA