AUKUS: Australia, UK, US join forces to stave off Chinese threat

Highlights 

  1. US, UK and Australia have joined hands to thwart the Chinese influence in Indo Pacific

  2. The partnership has been named as AUKUS.

  3. This follows up Quad – a partnership between US, Australia, Japan and India – to counter China.

Unnerved by the Chinese military expansion in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, the troika of the US, the UK and Australia have joined hands as part of a new security partnership that seeks to strengthen stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

The leaders of the three countries – Scott Morrison (Australian Prime Minister), Boris Johnson (British Prime Minister) and Joe Biden (American President) – on Thursday morning (Australian time), made this announcement through a joint virtual conference.

“Our world is becoming more complex, especially here in our region, the Indo-Pacific. This affects us all. The future of the Indo-Pacific will impact all our futures,” Mr Morrison said.

The partnership has been officially termed as AUKUS – an acronym for Australia, UK and the US.

“To meet these challenges and to help deliver the security and stability our region needs, we must now take our partnership to a new level — a partnership that seeks to engage, not to exclude; to contribute, not take; and to enable and empower, not to control or coerce”, Mr Morrison added.

As part of the partnership, the three countries plan to work in collaboration with technology, scientists, industry, and defense forces in a bid to “deliver a safer and more secure region that ultimately benefits all”.

“Our nations will update and enhance our shared ability to take on the threats of the 21st century just as we did in the 20th century: together,” President Biden said.

This adds to the long list of partnerships the countries have in the region: ANZUS; ASEAN friends; bilateral strategic partners, Quad; Five Eyes countries.

Among them, Quad – which had the US, Australia, Japan and India as its members – has more or less failed in its objective to contain China. The Quad has had excess focus on military deterrence against China, while the Chinese government has been hurting its rivals through economic warfare. If AUKUS also focuses on military might – a problem that has long plagued the US and its allies – the chances of it failing as well are huge, analysts say.

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