United States, United Kingdom and Australia announce historic defense pact

United States Australia and the United Kingdom Pact for defends

The new alliance of the three powers apparently seeks to stand up to China and counter its military might in the Indo-Pacific.

The United States, Australia and the United Kingdom announced this Wednesday (09/15/2021) a historic defense pact, which includes support for the development of nuclear submarines by Australians, with the aim of standing up to China in the Indo-Pacific.

The three countries thus agree to strengthen cooperation in advanced defense technologies, such as artificial intelligence, underwater systems and long-distance surveillance.

“Today, we unite our nations in a next-generation partnership, built on a strong foundation of demonstrated trust,” said Morrison from Australia.

“We have always seen the world through a similar lens. We have always believed in a world that favors freedom, that respects human dignity, the rule of law, the independence of sovereign states and the peaceful communion of nations.” Johnson said, speaking from Downing Street.

“Our nations will update and enhance our ability to share to address the threats of the 21st century just as we did in the 20th century, together,” said Biden.

A senior US government official, who asked to remain anonymous, in a phone call with journalists, noted that it is “a historic agreement that reflects the determination of the Administration (of President Biden) to build more robust alliances with the objective of maintain peace and stability throughout the Indo-Pacific region, “he said. 

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, formally made the announcement in a statement to the press at the White House, flanked by two televisions through which the Prime Ministers of Australia, Scott Morrison, and the Kingdom also made live statements. Kingdom, Boris Johnson.

The United States, Australia and the United Kingdom announced this Wednesday for a historic defense pact.

Submarines “conventionally armed” for Australia

The US president stressed that the submarines that Australia will get will not have “nuclear weapons”, but will be “conventionally armed”, but “powered by nuclear reactors.” 

“It is a proven technology, and it is safe,” Biden assured. 

In the same vein, the US official who spoke to journalists rejected that Australia is going to develop nuclear weapons, and assured that the use of this type of energy is merely “propulsion.”

With this type of submarine, the source added, the Australian defense capabilities will be “much greater”, since they grant “more range of operation” and will allow to reinforce cooperation with the United States and its allies in the area.

New Zealand to veto future Australian submarines

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday that she will ban future Australian nuclear submarines from entering her country’s waters, in line with the anti-nuclear policy adopted in the 1980s. 

Ardern stressed in statements to the media in Wellington that both Australia and its partners are aware of “our position on nuclear-powered vessels and nuclear weapons” and therefore understand that “our position on the veto of energy-powered submarines nuclear power in our waters remains intact.” 

The president was referring to the denuclearization policy adopted after the flagship of the environmental organization Greenpeace, the “Rainbow Warrior”, was sunk in Auckland in 1985 when it participated in the protest campaign against the nuclear tests carried out by France in the Peaceful. 

China sees the specter of the Cold War in the pact

Although neither Biden nor the official explicitly mentioned China, there is growing concern in the United States about the increase in that country’s military power in that region of the world.

However, the Chinese embassy in Washington reacted to the new security pact through a brief statement by the spokesman for the diplomatic delegation, Liu Pengyu, who indicated that nations “should not build exclusion blocs that aim to harm the interests of Third parties. In particular, the Cold War mentality and ideological prejudices must be avoided. “

The announcement of the new pact comes a week before Biden hosts in the White House on September 24 a summit with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan, with whom he maintains an alliance to counter the power of China.

The four countries make up the “quad,” an alliance created in 2007 in response to Beijing’s military boom.

Biden will receive in person at the White House the Prime Ministers of Australia, Scott Morrison; from India, Narendra Modi, and from Japan, Yoshihide Suga.