US, UK and Australia launch trilateral defence pact to counter China in Indo-Pacific 

US, UK and Australia launch trilateral defence pact to counter China in Indo-Pacific 

Washington/London/Canberra: The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia have launched a new comprehensive trilateral security alliance to counter China’s hegemonic actions in the Indo-Pacific region. According to the pact – dubbed AUKUS – the US and UK will supply eight nuclear-powered submarines to Australia. Additionally, under the agreement, the countries have agreed to develop joint capabilities to enhance long-range missiles, cyber technology, artificial intelligence and quantum technology. Japan and Taiwan have welcomed the agreement between the US, UK and Australia, while China has criticised it. Also, France and New Zealand have expressed resentment over the US stance. 

Indo-Pacific, संरक्षण सहकार्य करारOn Wednesday, US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the AUKUS deal at a virtual press conference. ‘Today, the US, UK and Australia are taking another historic step to deepen and formalise cooperation among all three of our nations. Our nations and our brave fighting forces have stood shoulder to shoulder for literally more than 100 years. Our nations will update and enhance our shared ability to take on the threats of the 21st century,’ said President Biden as he highlighted the pact’s significance. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, ‘The aim of the new trilateral defence partnership was working to preserve security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. We are opening a new chapter in our friendship.’ Australian Prime Minister Morrison also welcomed the new pact, saying that ‘Today Australia begins an enhanced trilateral security partnership with the UK and US to enable deeper cooperation on security and defence capabilities. AUKUS is a partnership where our technology, scientists, industry, and defence forces are all working together to deliver a safer and more secure region that ultimately benefits all.’ 

According to the AUKUS deal, the US and UK will build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines for Australia’s fleet. The submarines will be constructed in Australia using US and UK technologies. Sources have indicated that the construction of the nuclear-powered submarines would start within the next year and a half. 

Indo-Pacific, संरक्षण सहकार्य करारAustralia explicitly said that under the pact, it would be acquiring a nuclear-powered submarine fleet but not include nuclear weapons. Japan and Taiwan have greeted the agreement between the US, UK and Australia, while France has expressed displeasure. 

France was to build 12 conventionally-powered submarines for Australia. The contract between them was worth $90billion. The Australia-France agreement is believed to have been scrapped against the backdrop of nuclear submarines offered by the US and UK. France has reacted to it aggressively by saying that it felt ‘stabbed in the back’ due to Australia’s actions. In addition, the French Defence Minister said that ‘The American choice to exclude a European ally and partner such as France . . . shows a lack of coherence that France can only note and regret.’ On the other hand, New Zealand has announced a ban on Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines into its waters. 

China reacted sharply to the trilateral military pact and criticised the new alliance as an ‘extremely irresponsible’ move. The Chinese embassy to the US has accused the three countries (US-UK-Australia) of maintaining a ‘Cold War mentality’. Moreover, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has warned of the new defence pact intensifying the arms race in the Indo-Pacific region. 

हिंदी    मराठी

Click below to express your thoughts and views on this news: