US, Britain, Australia weigh expanding AUKUS security accord to deter China : The Tribune India

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US, Britain, Australia weigh expanding AUKUS security accord to deter China

US, Britain, Australia weigh expanding AUKUS security accord to deter China

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen with Chinese Premier Li Qiang in Beijing. Reuters



LONDON, April 7

The US, Britain and Australia are set to begin talks on bringing new members into their AUKUS security pact as Washington pushes for Japan to be involved as a deterrent against China, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

The countries’ defence ministers will announce discussions on Monday on “Pillar Two” of the pact, which commits the members to jointly developing quantum computing, undersea, hypersonic, artificial intelligence and cyber technology, the newspaper reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the situation.

They are not considering expanding the first pillar, which is designed to deliver nuclear-powered attack submarines to Australia, the FT said.

AUKUS, formed by the three countries in 2021, is part of their efforts to push back against China’s growing power in the Indo-Pacific region. China has called the AUKUS pact dangerous and warned it could spur a regional arms race.

US President Joe Biden has sought to step up partnerships with US allies in Asia, including Japan and the Philippines, amid China’s historic military build-up and its growing territorial assertiveness.

Rahm Emanuel, US ambassador in Tokyo, wrote in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that Japan was “about to become the first additional Pillar II partner”. A senior US administration official said on Wednesday that some sort of announcement could be expected in the coming week about Japan’s involvement but gave no details.

Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will likely discuss expanding AUKUS to include Japan when the President hosts the PM in Washington on Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the talks said. Australia, however, is wary of beginning new projects until more progress has been made on supplying Canberra with nuclear-powered submarines, said the source.

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council and China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the FT report. — Reuters

Washington, Beijing need tough conversations: Yellen

Beijing: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday raised her concerns about China’s excess industrial capacity with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, telling him that bilateral relations were now more stable because the two sides can have “tough” discussions. As they began a meeting in Beijing that ran 80 minutes, Li responded that the two countries needed to respect each other and should be partners, not adversaries, adding that “constructive progress” had been made during Yellen’s trip. Yellen said Washington and Beijing had a “duty” to responsibly manage the complex relationship. Reuters

#Australia #China #England #Japan #London #United States of America USA #Washington


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