Source: Reuters
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  • The United States and Britain agree to give Australia access to highly sensitive nuclear submarine technology, as China’s influence grows in Indo-Pacific region
  • President Biden unveiled the new three-way defence alliance alongside British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who joined the president virtually
  • The new alliance has been labelled AUKUS
  • China’s Washington embassy said the countries should “shake off their Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice”

The United States and Britain have agreed to help Australia secure a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the deal on Wednesday.

Under the deal, known as AUKUS, United States and Britain will provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines.

The security partnership is to strengthen the Indo-Pacific region as the influence of China grows.

The leaders stressed Australia will not be fielding nuclear weapons but using nuclear propulsion systems for the vessels to guard against future threats.

“Our nations will update and enhance our shared ability to take on the threats of the 21st century, just as we did in the 20th century — together,” Biden said from the White House.

“We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region, and how it may evolve because the future of each of our nations and indeed the world depends on a free and open Indo-Pacific enduring and flourishing in the decades ahead.”

However, China has criticised the alliance.

China’s Washington embassy said the countries should “shake off their Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice”.

The technology will allow Australian submarines to travel further and quieter.

Morrison said the submarines will be built in Adelaide with the help of Untied States and Britain.

“We will continue to meet all our nuclear non-proliferation obligations,” he said.

This new alliance will scrap the controversial $90 billion program to build up to 12 French-designed submarines.

The Navel Group released a statement today saying that the Commonwealth will not go through with the next phase of the program.

“This is a major disappointment for Naval Group, which was offering Australia a regionally superior conventional submarine with exceptional performances,” the company said.

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