In an attempt to push influence in the Indo-Pacific region, United States President Joe Biden announced a new security partnership with the United Kingdom and Australia on Wednesday.
The newly designed alliance has been tagged as "AUKUS", an abbreviation for the member states. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his British counterpart Boris Johnson made a virtual appearance with Biden to announce the partnership.
The newly announced security alliance is likely to be seen as a provocative move by China, which has repeatedly lashed out at Biden as he sought to refocus the foreign policy of the United States on the Pacific region at the early stages of his presidency, according to reports from Associated Press.
In a statement on Wednesday, Biden said, "We all recognise the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term."
He added while focusing on the importance of European assistance, "We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it may evolve."
However, hours before Biden made the joint announcement, a senior official of his administration said that the to-be-announced partnership will is not meant to just focus on China but is a larger effort of the United States, Britain and Australia to maintain a stronghold in the Indo-Pacific region.
“We will have a new opportunity to reinforce Britain’s place at the leading edge of science and technology, strengthening our national expertise, and perhaps most significant, the U.K., Australia and the United States will be joined even more closely together, " Johnson said on Wednesday.
The United States will also be expanding its nuclear sharing programme with Australia as talks about Australia acquiring nuclear-powered submarines are underway. So far, United Kingdom was the only country that had access to a shared nuclear propulsion technology with the United States.
The three countries have agreed to share information in areas including artificial intelligence, cyber and underwater defense capabilities, according to reports from Associated Press citing an unnamed official of the Biden administration.