WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (KUNA) -- The Aukus treaty allies have declared plans to supply Australia with advanced nuclear-powered submarines as soon as possible.
The defense secretaries of three three allies, LIyod Austin of the US, his Australian and British counterparts, respectively Richard Marles and Grant Shapps, affirmed in a joint statement after their meeting, held late on Friday, the plans to arm Canberra with the advanced submarines, to be jointly built by Australia and Britain, with US technology.
Australia had initially planned to buy French-supplied smaller submarines, but later opted to get the much more powerful and modern submarines. These plans have drawn criticism from Paris, provider of the old ones, and China, uneasy toward emergence of a regional power in the Pacific.
However, the three secretaries affirmed in their joint statement that their nations' cooperation is aimed at contributing to prosperity and stability in the Indian and Pacific oceans.
The Aukus allies contribute to "the integrated deterrence and seek to bolster security and stability," it added, clearly sending a message of assurance to China that had shown jitters in response to US military movements in the Pacific.
The US, the UK and Australia declared on September 15, 2021, establishing a "tripartite security partnership" in response to fast growing threats.
Australia had planned to purchase diesel-powered submarines from France but changed its decision favoring the powerful nuclear-powered submarines. (end) asj.rk