AUKUS Alliance Formed to Counter China

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US, UK, and Australia form AUKUS to counter China in the Indo-Pacific.

The United States, United Kingdom, and Australia have announced a new alliance, AUKUS, to counter Chinese expansion in the Indo-Pacific, sending shockwaves across Asia and Europe.

For decades, the US and UK have been extremely close allies, and now they are letting Australia in on their close alliance due to their geographic location in the Indo-Pacific in an effort to counter the Chinese in the region.

The main function of this new alliance is to counter Chinese expansion in Asia and the Pacific, specifically in Taiwan, which the Chinese government says belongs to them. The alliance notably allows Australia to purchase American and British nuclear submarines to help the US and UK maintain military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific region.

The French were angered by this announcement because of their exclusion in the alliance and that Australia won’t be buying its submarines from France anymore. France previously had a deal to supply Australia with diesel-powered submarines, but the American and British nuclear submarine deal is much more appealing to the Australians and has replaced their deal with their French.

In wake of French fury, American President Joe Biden announced on Twitter that he “spoke with President Emmanuel Macron of France, and reaffirmed the importance of French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific region,” saying, “I look forward to a process of in-depth consultations and to meeting with him in October.”

While China was not specifically mentioned when AUKUS was formed, it is clear that the alliance’s purpose is to counter the Chinese military presence in the Indo-Pacific. The US, Australia, Japan, and several other countries are likely to defend Taiwan against an unprovoked Chinese attack, and now it seems as though the UK would be dragged into such a conflict due to AUKUS.

Experts fear that even if the US was the only country to respond initially, they would likely drag the other AUKUS nations into the conflict, potentially spiraling it out of control. Others predict that such a scenario will be unlikely as the Chinese might not be willing to escalate a minor conflict into a major war with the US, UK, and Australia.

Many fear that this alliance could lead to a second Cold War. China has increasingly tried to expand its influence in the South China Sea and the Pacific. Russia took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and recently amassed thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border in late spring of 2021, likely to scare Ukraine and the West. Russia and Belarus recently took part in massive war games in the East, the largest of its kind since the Cold War.

With the US and her allies having withdrawn troops from Afghanistan, it is likely that the West will turn its attention to the far East: towards China and Russia.