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AUKUS Alliance

AUKUS Alliance:

The UK, US and Australia have announced a historic security pact in the Asia-Pacific, in what’s seen as an effort to counter China. It is called the AUKUS pact and AUKUS alliance.

  • Under the AUKUS alliance, the three nations have agreed to enhance the development of joint capabilities and technology sharing, foster deeper integration of security and defence-related science, technology, industrial bases and supply chains.
  • Under the first major initiative of AUKUS, Australia would build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines with the help of the US and the UK, a capability aimed at promoting stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

China’s response:

  • China has condemned the agreement as “extremely irresponsible”.
  • Concerns raised by China:
    • The Alliance undermines regional peace and stability and intensifies the arms race.
    • It shall reinvent a “Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice”.
  • Rationale behind the formation of this alliance:
    • The new partnership was announced in a joint virtual press conference. And while China was not mentioned directly, the three leaders referred repeatedly to regional security concerns which they said had “grown significantly”.
  • In recent years, Beijing has been accused of raising tensions in disputed territories such as the South China Sea.
  • Western nations have been wary of China’s infrastructure investment on Pacific islands, and have also criticised China’s trade sanctions against countries like Australia.
  • These submarines are much faster and harder to detect than conventionally powered fleets. They can stay submerged for months, shoot missiles longer distances and also carry more.
  • Having them stationed in Australia is critical to US influence in the region, analysts say.
  • The US is sharing its submarine technology for the first time in 50 years. It had previously only shared technology with the UK.
  • Australia will become just the seventh nation in the world to operate nuclear-powered submarines, after the US, UK, France, China, India and Russia.
  • Australia has reaffirmed it has no intention of obtaining nuclear weapons.

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