HomeUS News updateU.S. and allies partner on submarine deal in bid to counter China

U.S. and allies partner on submarine deal in bid to counter China

WASHINGTON – The heads of state of the United States, United Kingdom and Australia announced a deal Monday that will provide Australia with conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines.

President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australian President Joe Biden said, “Together we will deliver the SSN-AUKUS – a tripartitely developed submarine based on the United Kingdom’s next-generation design incorporating technology from all three countries.” Is.” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a joint statement.

“Australia and the United Kingdom will operate SSN-AUKUS as the submarine of the future,” the announcement said.

The US will sell Australia up to five nuclear-powered Virginia-class submarines in the 2030s, pending congressional approval, before the submarine will be ready for deployment in the early 2040s, the statement said. .

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that the deal was “a multi-step process that begins over the next few years and begins immediately with the training of Australian sailors, engineers, technicians and other personnel so that they can handle nuclear responsibility and Management. Propulsion.”

The alliance with the three countries, known as AUKUS, was first announced in September 2021, and aims to increase cooperation on military defence, cyber threats and supply chain security in the Indo-Pacific region. Officials have said the move was not targeted at any one country, but is widely seen as a way to counter China’s military buildup in Asia.

Speaking with his counterparts in San Diego, Biden said, “AUKUS has one major objective – to enhance the stability of the Indo-Pacific amid rapid changes in global dynamics.” He said the deal would help ensure the region remained “free and open, prosperous and secure”.

In an interview with NBC News on Sunday, Sunak said, “The behavior we’ve seen in China in recent days is worrying.”

“Certainly, China represents the single greatest state threat to our economic interests. And it poses a systemic challenge to the world order,” he said.

When the partnership was first announced, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the treaty “seriously undermined regional peace and stability, exacerbated the arms race, and undermined international non-proliferation efforts”. Gave.”

In their joint statement on Monday, the three leaders stressed that the submarines would be conventionally armed, and said their plan “reflects our longstanding leadership and respect in the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.”

“Australia is a proud non-nuclear weapons state and is determined to remain as such. These boats will not carry nuclear weapons of any kind.’

When asked whether China was told about the announcement ahead of time, Sullivan said, “We have communicated directly with China to explain to them what AUKUS is and what it is not.”

He described the partnership as “a model of how a country can be transparent and predictable in its efforts to contribute to peace and security and protect peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Dan De Luce reported from Washington and Dareh Gregorian from New York.



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