: Australia Plans to Build a Fleet of Nuclear Submarines to Counter China—With U.S. and U.K. Help #WorldNEWS Australia is joining a new Indo-Pacific security partnership with the U. S. and U. K.
Australia Plans to Build a Fleet of Nuclear Submarines to Counter China—With U.S. and U.K. Help #WorldNEWS
Australia is joining a new Indo-Pacific security partnership with the U. S. and U. K. that will allow it to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, sparking a rift with France at a time when the Biden administration is pushing allies to counter Chinese assertiveness.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, U. S. President Joe Biden and U. K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the security partnership in a virtual meeting on Wednesday. France said the move halted a 2016 deal with French military shipbuilder Naval Group to build up to 12 submarines, a project that had blown out to an estimated A billion ( billion).
The first major initiative “will be to deliver a nuclear powered submarine fleet for Australia,” Morrison said, who said the vessels would be built in his country. “Over the next 18 months we will work together to seek the best way forward to achieve this. ”
In a press briefing, Morrison defended the decision and said he understands it’s disappointing for France. Touting a “forever partnership” with the U. S. and U. K. , he said would take as many as 18 months to work out details of the agreement before work on the subs begins.
“As a prime minister I must make decisions that are in Australia’s national security,” Morrison said. “I know that France would do the same. ”
Today, Australia begins an enhanced trilateral security partnership with the UK and the US to enable deeper cooperation on security and defence capabilities. This is an historic opportunity for our countries to strengthen our nations’ security in uncertain times. #AUKUS
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) September 15, 2021
The decision to scrap the program was “contrary to the letter and spirit of the cooperation that prevailed between France and Australia” and shows “a lack of coherence,” France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said in statement.
“The regrettable decision that has just been announced regarding the FSP program only reinforces the need to make the issue of European strategic autonomy loud and clear,” the French ministers said. “There is no other credible way to defend our interests and our values in the world, including in the Indo-Pacific. ”
A spokesperson for Naval Group declined to comment.
The new framework comes as China increases its military capability and influence in the Asia-Pacific, though a senior U. S. official said it isn’t targeting China or any other country. As part of the agreement, the countries intend to increase cooperation on other defense measures, such as cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
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