The U.S., Britain and Australia have announced they are forming a new security alliance to counter the rise of China in the Pacific. The new alliance will help equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines and reshape relations in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
Japan, Taiwan and Australia have been concerned about China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea and it’s hegemonic attitude. With China’s influence growing in the region after Afghan debacle, the US needs allies to counter the rise of China.
Britain on its part seeks to reassert its global position after it left the European Union under Brexit. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new alliance would allow the three nations to focus on an increasingly complicated part of the world.
Under the arrangement, Australia will build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines using U.S. expertise. Experts say the nuclear subs will allow Australia to conduct longer patrols and give the alliance a stronger military presence in the region.
Australia had to dump the contract it signed with France for diesel-electric subs, drawing the latter’s ire. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that this was really a stab in the back and betrayal of long earned trust. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called the leaders of Japan and India to explain the new alliance.
Japan, India, Australia and the U.S. already have a strategic dialogue known as “the Quad.” China said the alliance would severely damage regional peace and stability, and jeopardize efforts to halt nuclear weapon proliferation.