Welsh Tories welcome ‘Anglosphere defensive alliance’ between UK, US and Australia
The leader of the Welsh Tories has welcomed the “Anglosphere defensive alliance” between the UK, the US and Australia.
Andrew RT Davies described the pact, which will see the US and UK provide Australia with the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time, as a “great step forward”.
The move is widely viewed as an effort to counter the influence of China in the contested South China Sea.
The Aukus pact has been criticised by French ministers who reacted angrily after Australia ditched a deal with a shipbuilder in France for up to 12 conventionally-powered diesel-electric submarines.
“This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr Trump used to do,” said foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “It’s a break in trust and I am extremely angry.”
France’s ex-ambassador to the US Gérard Araud tweeted: “The world is a jungle. France has just been reminded this bitter truth by the way the US and the UK have stabbed her in the back in Australia.”
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies MS said: “This new defence partnership between the UK, US, and Australia is a great step forward in our Global Britain ambitions and will further help pool security resources with our allies.
“This new relationship will strengthen our security collaboration, foster deeper integration on defence science and technology, and see Australia draw on British and US expertise to help them acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.
He added: “We are united by our shared interests and values as leading democracies and strong believers in freedom.
“This will be all the more important in countering new and emerging threats, particularly China that has proven itself to be an aggressive, expansionist, and illegal actor.
“Beyond the security benefits, this move will create hundreds of skilled jobs across our country, demonstrating that the Conservative levelling up agenda is embedded in every part of the British Government.”
Boris Johnson said: “The UK, Australia and US are natural allies – while we may be separated geographically, our interests and values are shared.
“The AUKUS alliance will bring us closer than ever, creating a new defence partnership and driving jobs and prosperity.
“This partnership will become increasingly vital for defending our interests in the Indo-Pacific region and, by extension, protecting our people back at home.