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President Joe Biden Reveals Landmark Submarine Deal With Australia and Britain



President Joe Biden Reveals Landmark Submarine Deal With Australia and Britain

President Joe Biden officially unveiled plans with Britain and Australia to develop and deploy nuclear-powered attack submarines, his most assertive move yet against China’s military expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr. Joe Biden and the leaders of the other two countries spoke in front of the nuclear submarine U.S.S. Missouri at the Point Loma naval base in San Diego. They said that the naval partnership was a crucial way to confront China in a time of increased tension with Beijing. According to U.S. officials, it will lead to a “nuclear stewardship” among the allies.

“The United States has safeguarded stability in the Indo-Pacific for decades for the enormous benefit of nations throughout the region,” Mr. Joe Biden said, adding, “We’re showing again how democracies can deliver our own security and prosperity, and not just for us but for the entire world.”

For the first time in 65 years, Mr. Biden said, the US will share the technology at the heart of its nuclear submarines, permitting Australia to assemble strong conflict machines that will develop into armadas equipped for going head to head with Chinese vessels in the South China Sea and different waters. Australia will initially acquire three submarines similar to Missouri before developing a new version known as the AUKUS with assistance from the United Kingdom and the United States.

The move shows how much Mr. Joe Biden and his staff are investing in strategic military planning with allies and partners to fight China’s growing capabilities and prepare for a possible armed conflict over Taiwan, the democratic island with de facto independence that Chinese leaders claim is their territory. According to American officials, the submarine capabilities will also aid in preventing North Korea and Russia from engaging in aggression, as Russia has been participating in naval exercises with China in the region.

Nuclear submarines can travel farther and stay submerged for longer than conventional submarines. They are a significant improvement over the six diesel-electric submarines currently in use by the Australian navy, which will soon become obsolete. The AUKUS arrangement includes nuclear-powered submarines as well as long-term plans to collaborate on artificial intelligence, quantum computing, cyber warfare, and missiles.

According to Australian officials, the nuclear submarine arrangement will cost the country between $178 billion and $245 billion.

The three English-speaking nations’ announcement on Monday was an important step toward expanding their partnership known as AUKUS, which they first announced 18 months ago. French officials were enraged by the deal, which led to the cancellation of their own $66 billion submarine deal with Australia.

Standing next to Vice President Joe Biden in front of the flags of the three nations, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasized the deal’s economic benefits, claiming that thousands of well-paying jobs will be created for those designing, building, and operating the submarines.

“Our future security will be built and maintained not just by the courage and professionalism of our defense forces, but by the hard work and know-how of our scientists and engineers, our technicians and programmers, our electricians and welders,” Mr. Albanese said.

According to Mr. Sunak, who also invited Vice President Joe Biden to Northern Ireland on Monday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which brought an end to decades of conflict there, the new alliance will strengthen democratic nations’ efforts to contain destabilizing behavior.

“The challenges we face have only grown,” he said. “Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, China’s growing assertiveness, the destabilizing behavior of Iran and North Korea all threaten to create a world defined by danger, disorder, and division. Faced with this new reality, it is more important than ever that we strengthen the resilience of our own countries.”

Britain will be more at odds with Beijing in the years to come as a result of the plan, which firmly integrates Britain into the military strategies of Australia and the United States in the Asia-Pacific region.

“It’s tying the United Kingdom, a European power, to Australia, a Pacific power, with the United States as the glue holding this new partnership together,” said Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser. “And it’s a manifestation of a broader encouragement that the president has offered to European allies to be more engaged in Asia, and Asian allies like Japan and Korea to be more involved in Europe.”

After decades of Tokyo’s pacifist stance, Mr. Joe Biden and his associates have announced that they will assist Japan in building its military and will deploy American troops and equipment to additional non-U.S. military bases in the Philippines.

The United States, India, Japan, and Australia are all countries that are increasingly concerned about China’s expansive territorial claims and strategic intentions in Asia. The Quad is a nonmilitary partnership formed by the Biden administration.

Beijing officials have accused the United States of attempting to impede China’s expansion. The Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported that China’s leader, Xi Jinping, stated last week at a political meeting in Beijing that the West was being led by the United States to engage in “all-around containment, encirclement, and suppression of China.”

The agreement on the submarines “constitutes serious nuclear proliferation risks, undermines the international nonproliferation system, exacerbates arms race, and hurts peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific,” Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry, stated at a news conference on Thursday.

According to Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Joe Biden intended to attempt to speak with Mr. Xi following the political meeting in China. He went on to say that U.S. officials had talked to Chinese counterparts about AUKUS over the past 18 months, but that military-to-military communication between the two countries has been weaker than Washington would like. This is in part due to disagreements regarding a Chinese spy balloon and American allegations that China may send weapons to Russia.

According to Mr. Sullivan’s words, China ought to “be open to ensuring that we have regularized, routinized patterns of communication and consultation at senior levels.”

As part of a 1958 defense agreement, the United States had only shared the technology for nuclear-powered submarines with Britain prior to the new agreement. It is one of the “crown jewels” of the U.S. military and the American defense industry, according to Washington officials.

American and Australian authorities say Australia would have total sovereign control over the submarines they purchase. In order to facilitate the learning process, Australian commanders intend to employ American and British service members on the ships.

According to Mr. Sullivan, Australia will begin receiving three nuclear-powered submarines from the United States in 2032, with the option to purchase two more.

Leaders in Australia are under pressure from a number of politicians to ensure that the arrangement results in substantial employment growth for their nation. Tuesday, officials in Australia’s capital, Canberra, stated that the program would create 20,000 new jobs over the course of three decades.

According to U.S. officials, Britain and the United States will provide Australia with nuclear fuel for their submarines while adhering to stringent regulations regarding the nonproliferation of weapons-grade nuclear material.

By 2027, British and United States nuclear-powered submarines will be rerouting into Perth, Australia, as part of the agreement. The U.S.S. Asheville, one of these submarines, is already there on a port visit prior to the official rotation schedule.

Additionally, Australian engineers will be employed at American and British production sites. Before Australia builds the next batch at a new shipyard in Adelaide, the first of the new class of British-made submarines is expected to be delivered to the British navy by the end of the 2030s. Officials in Australia anticipate completing their first submarine by 2042.

Mr. Joe Biden has requested $4.6 billion in federal funds to increase the manufacturing capacity of the United States submarines from now until 2028. Half of those funds are anticipated to be used for production and the other half for maintenance, and Australia will also contribute to that increase.

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