AUKUS is a new trilateral partnership featuring Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Though it aims to deepen diplomatic, security and defence cooperation between the three states, AUKUS will focus specifically on deepening integration in defence-related science, technology, industrial bases and supply chains, with particular emphasis on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and new undersea capabilities. The first initiative of AUKUS will be to support Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines and the necessary infrastructure to upkeep them, while keeping with partners’ international obligations to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards regimes.

On the one hand, it is symbolic for Australia that this partnership includes the country’s major historical and contemporary alliance partner. Yet the new partnership is unique from prior historical efforts between the three countries, and all the more significant, for its explicit focus on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. In that sense, AUKUS is intended to complement the efforts of other partnerships and regional groupings, such as 'Five Eyes' and the 'Quad', to develop coordination in areas including diplomacy, global governance, health security and intelligence sharing.

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