U.S. President Joe Biden forgot the name of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at an event to officially announce the creation of AUKUS, a trilateral security and defense partnership that also included British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Australian newspaper reported this on Wednesday, Sept. 15.
“Thank you, Boris. And I want to thank this guy down here. Thank you very much, friend. I appreciate it, Mr. Prime Minister,” Biden said at the meeting.
As a result of that meeting, Joe Biden, along with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, issued a joint statement on a trilateral security partnership on advanced defense technologies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Over the next 18 months, all three countries will work to transfer technology to Australia that the U.S. has traditionally only shared with the United Kingdom, Politico writes. In particular, we are talking about nuclear-powered submarines.
U.S. officials and experts said Australia does not currently have the necessary fissile material to operate a nuclear submarine, which means that in the next year and a half of negotiations, the transfer of nuclear materials will be discussed.
The trilateral deal makes no mention of China, but two U.S. officials noted that the implication of the announcement is that it is another step by Western allies to counter China’s military and technological strengthening, the publication notes.
During a Sept. 10 phone conversation with U.S. President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that a theoretical conflict between the United States and China would endanger not only the countries themselves but also the entire world. He added that the policy pursued by the Americans in recent years has led to certain difficulties in Sino-American relations. This situation is not satisfactory for either country or for other world powers.
The White House press service reported that Biden and Xi Jinping on Thursday, September 9, in a telephone conversation discussed the areas in which the interests of the United States and China not only coincide, but also diverge. Among other things, they discussed the responsibility of the United States and China to ensure that competition between them does not escalate into conflict, and stressed that the U.S. leader pointed to the “abiding U.S. interest in peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.”