Today President Biden appear the conception of a new aegis affiliation amid the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. It’s a affiliation that’s focused on the challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. NPR China diplomacy contributor John Ruwitch has been afterward this and joins us now. Hi, John.
JOHN RUWITCH, BYLINE: Hi, Ailsa.
CHANG: All right. So acquaint us a little added about this announcement.
RUWITCH: Well, President Biden was abutting about by Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia and Boris Johnson of the U.K., and what they appear was a trilateral aegis affiliation alleged A-U-K-U-S, or AUKUS (ph), is how they accent it. They say they’re demography old partnerships to a new akin and acceptable their aggregate adeptness to booty on the threats of the 21st century. And so as a aboriginal step, what they appear today was that the U.S. and the U.K. are activity to assignment with Australia to advice it body a nuclear abysmal fleet, which is cogent because the U.S. has alone aggregate nuclear abysmal technology already before, and it started in 1958 with Great Britain. So they’re bringing Australia into this actual baby club.
Boris Johnson alleged it a momentous decision. You know, worldwide, there’s alone a scattering of countries with nuclear submarines. They accept bigger adequacy than accepted submarines. They go faster. They accept greater range, added stealth. It’s a footfall up for Australia. And to be actual clear, though, what they’re talking about is nuclear-powered boats, not boats that are armed with nuclear weapons. And Morrison said that Australia had no ambition to access nuclear arms.
CHANG: Got it. OK. If we can aloof footfall aback for a second, what is the U.S. aggravating to do here?
RUWITCH: This is allotment of Biden’s – President Biden’s cardinal about-face westward against the Indo-Pacific. The Afghan abandonment was actual abundant allotment of that – to chargeless up assets to focus on the Indo-Pacific. And the point of this exercise seems to be twofold. One is, they’re advocacy aegis in the Indo-Pacific arena – right? – assiduity U.S. capabilities there. And the additional is to allotment the burden. The U.S. has played a above role – the above role back World War II in that region. And again, this fits with the broader strategy. I mean, the U.S. has had what admiral say is appealing able assurance with added countries in the region. Next week, President Biden is hosting leaders of the Quad, which was addition aegis grouping. That’s Australia, the United States, Japan and India. A chief administering official who abreast reporters said this is about, you know, advancement what the Biden administering calls the rules-based order.
CHANG: OK. And can I aloof ask, is China the capital affair actuality abaft this accomplished new aegis partnership?
RUWITCH: Well, the chief administering official says this is not aimed at anyone, not aimed at China. But, you know, that byword that I mentioned a minute or two ago, a additional ago, the rules-based order, is a bit of a tell. The Biden administering accuses China of aggravating to attenuate the rules-based order. And really, if you attending about the Asia-Pacific region, abreast from North Korea, there’s absolutely boilerplate abroad that the U.S., U.K., Australia allocution about as a blackmail added than China. You know, they see a China that’s been growing in backbone militarily and economically and authoritative its attendance felt, whether it’s architecture islands in the South China Sea or applying bread-and-butter burden to Australia, which has been accident in contempo months. And so, you know, this partnership, these nuclear-powered subs will up the ante.
CHANG: That is NPR’s John Ruwitch. Thank you, John.
RUWITCH: Thank you.
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