Indo-Pacific framework is one of the hottest topics in recent international politics. It is mainly a framework of countries led by the United States to deter china and to do so the US have made different strategies and among them the conception of AUKUS alliance can be said to be of significance. Recently the pact containing USA, Australia and UK have fully unveiled a plan that was initially thought of in 2021 and intends to have security, technical and assistance on many other levels with an aim to deter China from gaining influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Aukus alliance which was established in 2021 and is mainly a security pact that is intended to counter Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region. This alliance allows the contracting countries to share intelligence and other technologies specially Is beneficial to Australia who doesn’t have nuclear submarine capabilities. The aim of this pact is to address the growing Chinese influence in south china sea and to overall deter Chinese growth.
The pact recently fully unveiled their nuclear submarine plan on 13 March 2023.According to the plan the United States intends to sell Australia three U.S. Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines in the early 2030s, with an option to buy two more if needed, the joint statement said.
According to the US State department the partnership also intends to maintain and expand military capabilities and critical technologies.Aukus will be the first time in 65 years when the us will share it’s nuclear propolsion technology. According to an official the first phase of the plan is already underway and a submarine is currently visiting Perth, Australia.The total cost of this operation is around 368 billion dollars over a span of 30 years with a target to deter china In the region. The US president emphesised that Australia will only be getting nuclear powered submarine but not any nuclear weapons and the Chinese are demanding that this plan violates ‘The nuclear proliferation treaty’.
Before Australia were in the AUKUS they were supposed to buy eight submarines worth around 66 billion dollars. France itself being a Indo-Pacific country also wants to play a crucial role in stabilizing the region. But after Australia’s bailout from the contract it has created much outcry among the french but French president Emmanuel macron and US president Joe Biden has agreed to find a way forward.Now it is a matter of time to see if the relationship between France and it’s allies grow stronger or weaker.
In the response of this planChina has vowed to increase its own military capabilities.Cheng Hong who is the director of the Australian Studies Centre in China said in an interview with the global times that , It will be a Time bomb for the peace and stability in the region .
After being elected president for a third term Chinese president Xi xingping promised to increase Chinese military capabilities in response to it.
‘We must fully promote the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces and build the people’s armed forces into a great wall of steel that effectively safeguards national sovereignty, security and development interests,’ he said In an interview. China also intends on being one the first nuclear powered countries to sign a treaty to create a Southeast Asian nuclear free zone to solidify the relationship among the ASEAN countries.
US-China relationship has Alway been somewhat complex specially after 2018 trade war the two countries are virtually at each others throat and trying to outsmart the other so after the unveiling of the plan to deter china it can easily be thought that the relations can only get worse. But despite the trilateral pact China wants to have a good relations with Australia and intends to give access to it’s market but this does not mean that China will refer from opposing the AUKUS. British Prime minister Rishi Sunak on the other hand has taken a quite Stern hand and a
Said that the so-called “golden era” of relations with China is over, as he vowed to “evolve” the UK’s stance towards the country.
After the Taiwan visit of house speaker Nancy pelosi Chinese responsed very agressively which the usually do not so it’s safe to bet that the Chinese leadership will not sit idly in this case rather they will try to assert dominance in the Indo-Pacific region it May be by both gaining military capabilities or Maybe they can reach though a More pragmatical Way. China is currently facing a huge change specially after the election of xingping for a third Time which makes him the most powerful leader in Chinese leadership hiararchy since Mao xedong . China is now more and more focusing on its security specially if we look at the national Congress of the communist party last year it focused on security issues and xi himself appointed security specialists like Zhao Lehi, LI XI. Also we have to take into account the ‘No limit friendship’ between China and Russia but here we can also question the limitation of this no limit friendship because the Russians are now facing a tough situation in Ukraine and it can be a think to ponder about how long the Chinese Will support the Russians because they are facing a problem of their own. The US, UK and Australia has vowed to face Chinese agression and they intend to do it so. Also if the Chinese sign the treaty to create a nuclear weapons free Southeast Asian it will have major implications to contain the AUKUS alliance, But In international politics it is hard to tell anything for sure specially in case of US- China relationship which is very unpredictable from the beginning so we will have to wait what’s in store for the future of the alliance and the Indo-Pacific region.
Source : ModernDiplomacy