US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, on Monday, revealed that Australia will purchase nuclear-powered attack submarines from Washington. This move is aimed at modernizing Australia's fleet and countering China's military buildup, which has caused growing concern in the Indo-Pacific region.
The partnership between the three countries, given the acronym AUKUS, was announced in 2021 and enables Australia to access nuclear-powered submarines that are more stealthy and capable than conventionally powered vessels. Biden, Albanese, and Sunak appeared together in San Diego, where the US President stressed that the submarines are "nuclear powered, not nuclear-armed," likely in response to China's criticism of the deal.
Albanese hailed the agreement as "the biggest single investment in Australia's defense capability in all of our history," while Sunak called AUKUS "the most significant multilateral defense partnership in generations."
In a joint statement released before the formal announcement, the leaders emphasized their commitment to maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity worldwide, including in the Indo-Pacific region. They also highlighted their belief in protecting freedom, human rights, the rule of law, and the independence of sovereign states, as well as the rules-based international order.
As part of the deal, the US will increase its port visits to Australia to provide it with more familiarity with the nuclear-powered technology before it has such subs of its own. Biden also met separately with Sunak and Albanese to coordinate strategy on a variety of issues, including Russia's war in Ukraine and the global economy.
While in California and Nevada on a three-day trip, Biden will discuss gun violence prevention in Monterey Park, where 11 people were killed in a January mass shooting. He will also discuss his plans to lower prescription drug costs in Las Vegas, as well as engage in fundraising activities ahead of an expected reelection announcement next month.
Q1: Why did Australia choose to purchase nuclear-powered submarines?
Australia purchased nuclear-powered submarines as a counterweight to China's military buildup in the Indo-Pacific region, which has caused growing concern among neighbouring countries.
Q2: What does the AUKUS partnership between the US, UK, and Australia entail?
The AUKUS partnership enables Australia to access nuclear-powered submarines that are more stealthy and capable than conventionally powered vessels. The US will also increase its port visits to Australia to provide it with more familiarity with the technology before it has such subs of its own.
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