The U.S., Australia and the U.K. unveiled details of a plan to provide Canberra with nuclear-powered attack submarines from the early 2030s to counter Xi Jinping‘s growing ambitions in the Indo-Pacific.
What Happened: President Joe Biden announced the agreement under the 2021 AUKUS partnership at the U.S. naval base on Monday in San Diego.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attended the ceremony. Biden said the agreement is part of a shared commitment to a free-and-open Indo-Pacific region with two of the U.S. “most stalwart and capable allies.”
“For the first time ever it will mean three fleets of submarines working together across the Atlantic and Pacific keeping our oceans free…for decades to come,” said Sunak calling it “a powerful partnership.”
Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles said it offered China a briefing over its nuclear-powered submarine deal with Washington and London but is not aware of any response from Beijing.
Meanwhile, Beijing has condemned AUKUS as an illegal act of nuclear proliferation. China’s permanent mission to the United Nations said in a tweet after the announcement said the plan “constitutes serious nuclear proliferation risks, undermines international non-proliferation system, fuels arms races, and hurts peace and stability.”
The U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Biden has also indicated his “willingness” to speak with President Xi. “When the People’s Congress is over and the government, including the president, return to work in Beijing, the (U.S.) president anticipates the opportunity to engage in a phone call.”
Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.