London: A brand new trilateral defence and safety partnership, agreed by the leaders of the UK, the US and Australia and dubbed as “landmark” to protect and defend shared interests in the strategically vital Indo-Pacific region, was launched with a joint televised address on Wednesday. Under the so-called AUKUS’ Australia, UK and US alliance, the three nations have agreed to enhance the development of joint capabilities and technology sharing, foster deeper integration of security and defence-related science, technology, industrial bases and supply chains.
The first initiative under AUKUS will be a collaboration on future nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy, a capability aimed at promoting stability in the Indo-Pacific region. The UK, Australia and US are natural allies while we may be separated geographically, our interests and values are shared, said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who joined US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison from Downing Street for the virtual address before a joint statement was released.
The AUKUS alliance will bring us closer than ever, creating a new defence partnership and driving jobs and prosperity. This partnership will become increasingly vital for defending our interests in the Indo-Pacific region and, by extension, protecting our people back at home, he said. The agreement reflects the unique level of trust and cooperation between our three countries, who already share extensive intelligence through the Five Eyes alliance, Downing Street said.
Recognising our deep defence ties, built over decades, today we also embark on further trilateral collaboration under AUKUS to enhance our joint capabilities and interoperability. These initial efforts will focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities, reads the joint statement issued by the leaders. Through AUKUS, our governments will strengthen the ability of each to support our security and defence interests, building on our longstanding and ongoing bilateral ties.
We will promote deeper information and technology sharing. We will foster deeper integration of security and defence-related science, technology, industrial bases, and supply chains. And in particular, we will significantly deepen cooperation on a range of security and defence capabilities, it adds. The leaders said their new endeavour is aimed at helping sustain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
The initial scoping phase for the new alliance is expected to take 18 months. The UK said that as it has built and operated world-class nuclear-powered submarines for over 60 years, it will bring “deep expertise and experience” to the primary mission beneath AUKUS. The UK and US, already main members of NATO defence alliance, mentioned the work carried out by AUKUS will help shared targets in new areas, selling stability and defending our folks towards new and rising threats.
As set out within the Integrated Review, the Indo-Pacific is on the centre of intensifying geopolitical competitors with potential flashpoints together with unresolved territorial disputes; to nuclear proliferation and miscalculation; to local weather change and non-state threats from terrorism and Serious Organised Crime. It is on the frontline of recent safety challenges, together with in our on-line world, Downing Street mentioned. Highlighting this rising Indo-Pacific tilt, the UK authorities pointed to HMS Queen Elizabeth plane service’s deployment to the area alongside personnel and tools from the US.
Last month, the Carrier Strike Group undertook a collection of workouts with international locations, together with India and Australia, to construct interoperability with like-minded companions, it mentioned. The evolving state of affairs within the Indo-Pacific area within the wake of China’s growing army muscle-flexing has turn into a serious speaking level amongst main world powers. The US has been favouring making Quad a safety structure to verify China’s rising assertiveness.
In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave form to the long-pending proposal of establishing the Quad to develop a brand new technique to hold the important sea routes within the Indo-Pacific freed from any affect. Beijing claims nearly the entire 1.3 million sq. mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory. China has been constructing army bases on synthetic islands within the area additionally claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
China has constructed up and militarised lots of the islands and reefs it controls within the area. Both maritime areas within the South and East China seas are said to be wealthy in minerals, oil and different pure assets and are additionally very important to world commerce.
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