Australia Defence Force chief General Angus Campbell says the historical trilateral AUKUS agreement is a “very welcome” development as the strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific region had “deteriorated”.

The alliance, announced on Thursday, will see Australia partner with the nation’s allies in reinforcing defence capabilities and develop advanced security technologies in the face of China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

“Our strategic environment has deteriorated, our key strategic documents speak of this,” General Campbell said.

“That challenging environment is becoming more challenging and is set to do so into the future at an accelerated pace.

“This decision is very welcome in terms of the development of the Australian Defence Forces for structure and its forced posture, and particularly that a long view potential of the AUKUS agreement and the wide range of advanced technologies the three nations will work together to build on and to develop for the security and stability of our own nations and indeed of our region.”

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