Canberra [Australia], September 16 (ANI): Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has extended an open invitation to Chinese President Xi Jinping to talk after the AUKUS partnership is being seen as a veiled effort to confront Beijing's growing influence in the region, a media report said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the US, UK and Australia announced a new trilateral security partnership, named AUKUS for its members, focused on the Indo-Pacific.
Following the announcement, Morrison said, "I'll be having further calls today as we talk through those issues and engagement with China. There's an open invitation for President Xi ... That has always been there," The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The AUKUS partnership is seen as a veiled effort to confront China's growing power in the region. Under this partnership, the three countries are launching an 18-month review to explore how Australia can best acquire nuclear-powered submarines, technology that is quieter is faster and has more endurance than conventional submarines, according to The Hill.
Morrison has stressed that the aim of the new deal is to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific "whether that's in the South China Sea or anywhere else".
"I believe and hope we share the same objective of a peaceful Indo-Pacific where the sovereignty and independence of nations are understood and respected and enables their citizens to flourish. That's what we all want," Morrison said. (ANI)