Australia to get nuclear submarines amidst growing tension in South-China Sea

Highlights

  • US President Joe Biden has said that the US will share secret nuclear technology to assist Australia in shifting to nuclear-powered boats.
  • A trilateral partnership was unveiled Wednesday between US, UK and Australia.
  • The new partnership means a "NO" to the Australian government's AU$90 billion program to build French-designed submarines in Adelaide.

Australia intends to make the Navy's next submarine fleet nuclear-powered. The decision was reached after a historic defence pact unveiled on Wednesday among the United States, the UK, and Australia. US President Joe Biden has said that the US will share secret nuclear technology to assist Australia shift to nuclear-powered boats.

The move will likely boost Australia's defence preparedness in the wake of growing Chinese aggression and increasing tension in the Indo-Pacific region. The development is viewed as an important initiative to counter China as the United States aims to build international support for its defence approach towards Beijing.

While maintaining that Australia continues to meet all its nuclear non-proliferation obligations, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that the trilateral agreement between the "next generation" partnership will ensure the region's safety. Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied that the deal will violate nuclear non-proliferation treaties.

Besides, in a joint statement yesterday, the three leaders stated that AUKUS (Partnership between Australia, United Kingdom and United States) would leverage the expertise of the UK and US to bring cyber, AI & quantum computing capabilities to Australia.

Calling it as a historic step, US President Joe Biden said that the new trilateral partnership would ensure that the three countries should have the cutting-edge capabilities to defend against "rapid threats”.

Meanwhile, the new partnership also means a "NO" to the Australian government's AU$90 billion program to build French-designed submarines in Adelaide.

Morrison is likely to travel to Washington next week to attend the Quad Summit. He is likely to meet US President Joe Biden, his Indian and Japanese counterparts Narendra Modi and Yoshihide Suga in this Summit.

The Quad Summit is anticipated to shape the approach of the four countries on ongoing Taliban issue in Kabul.

Bottom line

The acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines will likely boost Australia's defence preparedness in the wake of growing Chinese aggression and increasing tension in the Indo-Pacific region.

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