Australia, UK, and US Announce Security Partnership

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The United States, United Kingdom and Australia have announced a historic trilateral security and defense agreement.

Under the new AUKUS pact, the three nations will cooperate more closely than ever before in several areas that include artificial intelligence, cyber capabilities, quantum computing critical technology, and defense-related industrial bases and supply chains. 

The partnership was announced on Wednesday in a joint virtual press conference between US president Joe Biden, UK prime minister Boris Johnson, and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

Biden said: "AUKUS will bring together our sailors, our scientists, and our industries to maintain and expand our edge in military capabilities and critical technologies, such as cyber, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and undersea domains."

joint statement released by the three world leaders on September 15 read: "This is an historic opportunity for the three nations, with like-minded allies and partners, to protect shared values and promote security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region."

A primary initiative of AUKUS will be an 18-month plan to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines and the necessary technology and infrastructure to maintain them. 

statement from 10 Downing Street read: "AUKUS is a concrete articulation of the UK’s ambition, made in the Integrated Review, to deepen defense, security and foreign policy ties with like-minded allies across the globe. The agreement reflects the unique level of trust and cooperation between our three countries, who already share extensive intelligence through the Five Eyes alliance."

Commenting on the new partnership, the United States Studies Centre said: "Though it aims to deepen diplomatic, security and defense cooperation between the three states, AUKUS will focus specifically on deepening integration in defense-related science, technology, industrial bases and supply chains, with particular emphasis on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and new undersea capabilities."

AUKUS has not been positively received by the People's Republic of China. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian stated that Australia, the UK and the US “should abandon the obsolete Cold War zero-sum mentality and narrow-minded geopolitical concepts and respect regional people’s aspiration and do more that is conducive to regional peace and stability and development – otherwise they will only end up hurting their own interests.”

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