Home/ News / World/  AUKUS not a challenge to 'anybody', says Joe Biden as US shares nuclear tech with Australia

US President Joe Biden has dismissed China's concerns about the AUKUS (Australia, UK, US) trilateral security pact as he met Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Biden emphasised that the agreement was about securing stability in the Indo-Pacific region and not aimed at challenging China.

"I don't view what we're doing as a challenge to anybody," Biden told reporters as he met Albanese.

The AUKUS deal, announced in September 2021, will see the US and UK assist Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines. Australia will procure at least three Virginia-class attack submarines from the US and the UK will supply an updated version of the Astute submarine, SSN-AUKUS. The agreement is being billed as the most significant trilateral military technology pact since the Cold War.

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Albanese said Australia was grateful for the United States sharing its nuclear propulsion technology for the first time in 65 years and only the second time in history.

The submarines won't carry nuclear weapons, but the pact has been strongly criticised by China, which has accused the members of having a "Cold War mentality." Australia will have the option to purchase two more of the nuclear submarines after the initial deal, which is expected to be completed in the early 2030s. The three nations plan to establish a Submarine Rotational Force operating near Western Australia.

Apart from building submarines, the AUKUS pact also includes a commitment to cooperate on building artificial intelligence capabilities, hypersonic weapons, and other advanced technologies. While China was only briefly mentioned on Monday, the security agreement is part of an ongoing effort by the three nations to respond to Beijing's growing military strength and increasingly assertive presence in the Asia Pacific.

Also Read: Eyeing China, Biden and allies unveil nuclear-powered submarine plan for Australia

US President Joe Biden called the moment "an inflection point in history" from Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, adding that the hard work of enhancing deterrence and promoting stability would affect the prospect of peace for decades to come.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier mentioned escalating problems, such as Russia's illegitimate invasion of Ukraine, China's increasing aggressiveness, and Iran and North Korea's destabilising actions.

“Faced with this new reality, it is more important than ever that we strengthen the resilience of our own countries," he said.

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 14 Mar 2023, 08:43 AM IST
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