Hours before the US, UK and Australia signed a new trilateral security alliance for the Indo-Pacific in an effort to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sign the deal. Called to inform about going to be announced, sources told
Unveiling the ambitious security initiative, US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a joint statement that their move will promote stability in the Indo-Pacific and support their shared values and interests. Will do
The agreement, dubbed AUKUS (Australia, UK and US), is expected to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines to counter China’s growing power in the strategically important region.
France – which had not been informed of the alliance between the three countries – expressed its unhappiness.
France is furious that the AUKUS agreement effectively curtails the 90 billion Australian dollar (about USD 65 billion) submarine deal Australia signed in 2016.
France is upset because it has been kept out of the loop. But, with the basic objective of pushing back against China’s aggression, all five countries – the US, UK, Australia, France and India – are on the same path.
Reacting sharply to the agreement between the three countries, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, “We had established a trusting relationship with Australia, and this trust was betrayed … I am today at this break- Very angry and very bitter about up.. This is not acceptable among colleagues.”
“My concern is also with American behavior. This brutal, one-sided, unpredictable decision looks a lot like what Mr. Trump used to do. Allies don’t do this to each other [especially when] they want a coherent Indo-Pacific approach. It is rather unbearable,” he said.
In New Delhi, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi, did not comment on the new AUKUS partnership, which comes days ahead of the first individual Quad Leaders Summit in Washington DC next week.
US President Biden will host the summit, which will be attended by Modi, Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga.
Responding to questions on the AUKUS deal, Bagchi said, “At this point I have nothing to share on this.”
Australian Foreign Minister Maris Payne and Defense Minister Peter Dutton also called their Indian counterparts S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh on Wednesday to apprise them of the Aukas deal, sources said.
As part of the joint statement announcing AUKUS, Biden said, “We are taking another historic step to deepen and formalize cooperation between our three countries as we all look forward to the long-term peace in the Indo-Pacific.” and recognize the imperative to ensure sustainability.”
“The UK, Australia and the US are natural allies – while we may be geographically separated, our interests and values are shared,” Johnson said in announcing the agreement.
“Ox will enhance our contribution to our growing network of partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region. … our ASEAN friends, our bilateral strategic partners, the Quad, the Five Eyes countries and of course our beloved Pacific family. First major initiative for Australia A nuclear powered submarine fleet would have to be delivered,” said Morrison of Australia.
In Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry sharply criticized the trilateral military partnership, saying it would closely monitor a deal that would seriously undermine regional stability and aggravate the arms race and hurt international non-proliferation efforts.