Australia will build eight nuclear-powered submarines under a new Indo-Pacific security pact with the United States and Britain.
“Our world is becoming more complex; especially here in our region; the Indo-Pacific;” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
Australia is the second country to be given access to US nuclear technology to build nuclear-powered submarines. The first country was England in 1958.
“To meet these challenges; to help provide the security and stability our region needs; we must now take our partnership to a new level;” Morrison continued.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand; Jacinda Ardern; welcomed the cooperation; which focuses on the Indo-Pacific region.
“I’m pleased to see that the focus has shifted to our region from the partners we work with;” he explained.
However; Jacinda also said the submarine would not be allowed to sail in its territorial waters under the country’s nuclear-free policy.
“This is a contested area; and there is a role others can play in taking an interest in our territory.”
In a press conference on Wednesday (15/9) yesterday; the leaders of the US; UK and Australia tried to counter the growing power and influence of the enemy by making this trilateral pact. Especially regarding military development; pressure experienced by Taiwan and placement in the South China Sea.
They did not say for sure that the action was against China. However; some believe it was carried out to reduce Beijing’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
The leaders also stressed that submarines would not be nuclear-armed; but would only use propulsion systems or nuclear reactors to guard against future threats.
In response to the deal; the Chinese Embassy in the US said countries should not build exclusive blocks that target or harm the interests of third parties.
“In particular; they have to let go of their Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice;” he said.