Britain's new security pact with Australia and the United States (Aukus) shows its readiness to be "hard-headed" in defending its own interests, newly appointed Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in an article published on Sunday.
The pact has angered France as it saw Canberra ditch a multi-billion-dollar order for French submarines in favor of an alternative deal with Britain and the United States. It has also riled China, the major rising power in the Indo-Pacific region.
"This is about more than foreign policy in the abstract, but delivering for people across the UK and beyond by partnering with like-minded countries to build coalitions based on shared values and shared interests," Truss wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
"We will be working closer together to use a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, from nuclear-powered submarines at first and then looking at artificial intelligence and quantum computing. It shows our readiness to be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices and malign acts."
On Friday France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia on Friday after the contract's cancellation set off a diplomatic crisis citing the "exceptional gravity" of the matter.
Also speaking on Sunday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said France would have known Australia had “deep and grave concerns” that a submarine fleet the French were building would not meet Australian needs,
France accused Australia of concealing its intentions to back out of the 90 billion Australian dollar ($66 billion) contract for French majority state-owned Naval Group to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines. He added the cancelled contract will cost his government at least AU$2.4 billion ($1.7 billion)