Australian envoy thanks PH for support as defense partner in Indo-Pacific

At a glance

    • Australia announces plan to buy five nuclear-powered submarines from the US and build new model from US and British technologies
    • Its ambassador to Manila, HK Yu, thanks the Philippines for being a supportive defense partner in the Indo-Pacific
    • Photo courtesy of Australian Ambassador to PH HK Yu

Australia has announced its plans to purchase several nuclear-powered submarines from the US, which its top diplomat in the Philippines said would boost Canberra's defense posture in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu said in a Twitter post that Canberra is now "investing in capabilities to meet the challenges of our strategic circumstances."

That is to ensure that the Indo-Pacific "remains stable, secure and prosperous" amid China's aggressive activities in the South China Sea.

"We are grateful for the Philippines' support as Australia seeks to become a more capable defence partner in the region," she added. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has not issued its statement regarding Australia's plan.

On March 13 (US time), Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Canberra entered into a deal with the US and the United Kingdom that represents the biggest single investment in its defense capability in its history.

This came as it joined Washington and London a year and a half ago in an alliance called AUKUS.

Five US nuclear-powered submarines and another model that will come from the US and British technologies are expected by Australia to boost its defense capabilities.

In a press conference on Tuesday (Manila time), US State Department Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink said the AUKUS partnership is part of Washington's commitment to a free, open, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

He said it is not about developing a capability to be used in one specific area.
Other officials in the same briefer did not disclose the locations the submarines would operate.

But Kritenbrink said the agreement is not "aimed at any one particular country or challenge that exists out there.

"It is a commitment, a decades-long commitment, to peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region. That builds on the work that we’ve done for many decades now, to contribute to that same peace and stability from which we all benefit," he added.