U.S., UK, Australia unveil new security partnership as China expands military
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on workers rights and labor unions in the East Room at the White House on September 08, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is slated to announce the formation of a new security partnership between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom that seeks to strengthen stability in the Indo-Pacific region as China expands its military might and influence.
For the official announcement, Scott Morrison (Australian Prime Minister) and Boris Johnson (UK Prime Minister) are likely to be joined by Biden virtualy.
Biden said that the U.S. will be able to concentrate on the emerging Russian and Chinese threats.
An anonymous senior Biden administration official spoke under condition of anonymity to confirm that the U.S. and Australia plan to increase technology sharing in emerging security areas like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and quantum technology.
Australia’s navy will benefit from nuclear-powered submarines that the U.S., U.K. will assist in purchasing.
According to the official, “This will provide Australia with the ability for its submarines basically to deploy for longer durations, they are quieter, more capable, and they will allow us maintain and to improve the deterrence throughout the Indo-Pacific.”
The official said that the Indo-Pacific region has a number of situations where the capabilities are greater. This allows Australia to be at a higher level and augment American capabilities.
The administration official downplayed the notion that the new security partnership sought to send a message specifically to China.
This partnership does not target any country. The official clarified that it was about the advancement of our strategic interests and upholding the international rules-based system, as well as promoting stability and peace in the Indo-Pacific.
The announcement of the South Pacific-Indian Ocean security partnership comes at a time when Biden is trying to change the United States’ attitude towards the Chinese government after the Trump administration’s trade war. Also, the world struggles with the Covid pandemic which was triggered in Wuhan (China).
Biden, who spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping last week, has previously said that his approach to China would be different from his predecessor’s in that he would work more closely with allies in order to mount pushback against Beijing.
At a Pentagon media briefing, Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, speaks in Washington, Wednesday August 18, 2021.
Alex Brandon | AP
The Pentagon is also moving to contend with the rapid expansion of China’s military.
Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directed the Pentagon to place China and its military buildup at the center of American defense policy.
This directive by the Secretary is about getting the Department in order and making sure that it lives up to its stated priority of China being the No. A senior Defense official spoke under duress in June.
This story is still developing. Stay tuned for new updates.