Britain’s new security deal with the United States and Australia has shown the country’s commitment to stability in the strategic Indo-Pacific region, says new British Foreign Secretary , Liz Truss.
The alliance – widely seen as an effort to counter China’s influence in the disputed South China Sea – was announced Wednesday by US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
The pact, known as the Aukus, will give Australia the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines.
Truss said it shows the UK’s willingness to be “stubborn” in defending its interests.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Truss said the partnership shows the UK’s commitment to stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
âFreedoms must be defended, so we are also building strong security bonds in the world,â she wrote.
This is more than foreign policy in the abstract, but serving citizens across the UK and beyond by partnering with like-minded countries to build coalitions based on shared values ââand interests, ” Truss, who was promoted from international trade secretary to foreign secretary in Wednesday’s reshuffle, wrote.
But France, whose own multi-billion submarine contract with Australia was thwarted as a result, criticized the deal.
France has recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia for consultations in response, while China has accused the three powers of having a “cold war mentality”.
Truss stressed that the new security pact “ will not only make us safer at home, it could also create hundreds of new and highly skilled jobs … ” The pact, which will also see allies sharing cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence and other underwater technologies, has been described as showing “profound strategic shifts” by UK national security adviser Stephen Lovegrove.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs the Aukus deal was “not meant to be contradictory” with China, but that the UK was “determined to stand up for international law”.
Although China was not mentioned directly, Biden, Johnson and Morrison have repeatedly referred to regional security concerns which they said have “increased dramatically.”
The announcement of the new trilateral security pact is the latest move by the United States to stave off China’s military and technological boom. This week, Biden will host an in-person summit of the QUAD Partnership of Japan, Australia and India – another group seen as a vehicle for asserting U.S. leadership in Asia. He has also sought to hire other Asian leaders, and Vice President Kamala Harris visited Singapore and Vietnam late last month.
Biden recently had a 90-minute phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, their first direct communication in seven months. Officials called the conversation “familiar” and “straightforward,” but said Biden had not directly addressed the new strategic partnership with Australia and the UK.
Developments in the strategically vital Indo-Pacific region in the wake of China’s aggressive muscle contraction has become a major topic of discussion among major world powers.
China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Beijing has also made substantial progress in the militarization of its man-made islands in recent years. Beijing claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea. But Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims. In the East China Sea, China has territorial disputes with Japan.
The two sea zones of the South and East China Seas are rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources. The South China Sea is also a vital trade gateway for an important part of the global merchant navy. It is therefore a vital economic and strategic sub-region of the Indo-Pacific region.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)