President Biden met with the prime ministers of the United Kingdom and Australia on Monday regarding the vital partnership between the three nations as the growing threat from China looms.
Biden traveled to San Diego, California, ahead of the meeting and welcomed Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to address tensions surrounding China’s growing influence and concerning actions on the world stage.
Biden, Sunak and Albanese joined each other on stage following the meeting to tout the strengthening partnership between the three nations, officially called the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) partnership, and specifically addressed plans to build nuclear-powered submarines for the Australian Navy and to ensure security in the Indo-Pacific region.
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“When our countries first announced AUKUS 18 months ago, I’m not at all sure that anyone believed how much progress we’d be able to make together and how quickly we’d accomplish it,” Biden told the crowd of service members gathered to hear the leaders.
“Today, we’re announcing the steps to carry out our first project under AUKUS, developing Australia’s conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarine capacity,” he added, before going on to detail the plan to develop the program, as well as the intention by the three nations to “enhance the stability of the Indo-Pacific amid rapidly shifting global dynamics.”
AUSTRALIA ON PATH TO A NUCLEAR SUBMARINE PROGRAM BY 2030S WITH US, UK HELP
The Biden administration made the announcement earlier Monday that AUKUS had identified the “optimal pathway” to provide Australia with conventionally-armed nuclear submarines by the 2030s with the best of U.S. and British technologies.
“It’s a multi-phased approach that will deliver Australia that capability far more quickly than even we thought possible, when we originally and initially launched this partnership,” a senior administration official said.
Phase one of the plan, according to officials, is already underway. Submarines from the United States and the United Kingdom will visit ports in Australia, and this year, Australian sailors will begin embedding themselves in U.S. and U.K. submarine forces and nuclear power schools.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
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