What is the Aukus Pact between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia? How did other nations react?


The leaders of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom announced the creation of Aukus on Thursday. | Photo credit: Twitter

Highlights

  • The acquisition of nuclear powered submarines will give the Australian Navy a significant advantage. These submarines are renowned for their high endurance, allowing them to travel undetected underwater for longer periods.
  • While there is no explicit mention of China in the released statement, experts noted that the pact may, at least, have been partially guided by Washington, Canberra and London’s goal of securing their interests in the Indo-Pacific region amid growing efforts by China. expand own regional influence
  • As might be expected, China was less than happy with Aukus’ announcement, with Beijing saying it had hurt prospects for regional stability.

US President Joe Biden, along with the British and Australian prime ministers, announced Thursday that the three countries are forging a new trilateral security pact, presumably intended to counter Chinese expansionism in the Indo-Pacific. .

What is Aukus?

With the establishment of the new security agreement, Australia will now become the only nation outside of Britain to have access to American technology used to build nuclear-powered submarines. It is not yet known whether Australia will look to Britain for BAE System Astute class submarines or USA made Virginia class ships.

However, it is believed that the Australian Navy will seek to purchase at least eight nuclear submarines. In doing so, the country will join an elite group of nations with such strengths, which also includes India, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom and United States.

The acquisition of nuclear powered submarines will give the Australian Navy a significant advantage. These submarines are renowned for their high endurance, allowing them to travel undetected underwater for longer periods.

According to some reports, the deal will also extend to Australia for the purchase of Tomahawk cruise missiles, Joint Air to Surface Standoff missiles and long-range anti-ship missiles. The terms of the deal will also cover AI, cyber and quantum technologies.

What is the purpose of the case?

While there is no explicit mention of China in the released statement, experts noted that the pact may, at least, have been partially guided by Washington, Canberra and London’s goal of securing their interests in the Indo-Pacific region amid growing efforts by China. to expand its own regional influence.

Beijing has significantly increased its missile arsenal in recent months, having also sailed military ships near Japan and US territorial waters. China has also claimed contested waters in the “nine-dash line” of the South China Sea.

The common concerns of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States over Beijing’s military expansion in the Indo-Pacific were raised in the joint statement announcing the Aukus Pact. “As noted in the Integrated Review, the Indo-Pacific is at the center of growing geopolitical competition with potential hot spots, including unresolved territorial disputes; nuclear proliferation and miscalculations; climate change and the non-state threats of terrorism and serious organized crime. He is at the forefront of new security challenges, including in cyberspace, ”he said.

How did other countries react?

First, the deal marks the end of a $ 90 billion contract that Australia signed with French company Naval Group in 2016. The deal suffered from a number of issues related to rising costs and price differences. design.

The French shipbuilder was originally tasked with building twelve submarines for Australia, but Canberra has now focused on acquiring American-made submarines. Expressing his dissatisfaction with the Aukus pact, the former French ambassador to Washington took to Twitter to say: “The world is a jungle. France has just been reminded of this bitter truth by the way the United States and the United Kingdom stabbed her in the back in Australia. That’s life.”

But the deal was well received by Western allies in the Indo-Pacific. Japan welcomed the agreement, adding that it was essential to ensure peace and security in the region. Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou also praised the deal. However, she was quick to add that Aukus “does not imply that we are asking the UK to get involved in the conflict across the Taiwan Strait.”

“We are responsible for the national security of Taiwan, we are not asking the UK or any other country to fight on our behalf.

As might be expected, China was less than happy with Aukus’ announcement, with Beijing saying it had hurt prospects for regional stability. The Chinese embassy in Washington said the deal was confirmed by the UK, US and Australia stuck in a “cold war mentality”, adding that it showed “ideological biases”.


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