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AUKUS pact explained

Aukus: “is a new three-way strategic defense alliance between Australia, the UK and US, initially to build a class of nuclear-propelled submarines, but also to work together in the Indo-Pacific region, where the rise of China is seen as an increasing threat, and develop wider technologies.”

  • The deal also includes artificial intelligence and other technologies making it one of the most important partnerships formed in the last few decades.

  • It basically aims to counter China's power and its influence in the contested South China Sea. China now faces a new much too powerful alliance in the Indo-Pacific.

  • The partnership was made public during a virtual press conference between US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Wednesday September 15th 2021.

How does the AUKUS alliance benefit the countries included ?

  • Australia using technological resources from the U.S. will build nuclear-powered submarines. This created tension since France lost a $37bn deal to build and sell 12 submarines to Australia. "It's really a stab in the back," France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Info radio. However, American submarines are faster and harder to detect than conventionally powered fleets. They can also stay submerged for consecutive months , shoot and store more missiles.

  • The United States along with countering China’s power secures a military ally, Britain. The alliance will give Biden focus for his post-Afghanistan tilt to Asia. On the 24th of September he will host the first in-person summit of the Quad – a bloc involving Japan, the US, Australia and India. Stationing submarines in Australia is crucial to influence the region according to analysts.

China’s response

The diplomatic relationships between the three allies and China are currently at a very low point. Though the deal clearly opposes both China’s expansionism in the South China Sea and brutality towards Taiwan it does not name the Chinese nation.

Chinese representatives criticized the AUKUS as “extremely irresponsible”. Also, the Chinese embassy in Washington accused the countries of a "Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice".


The authoritarian nature of China has made this alliance much needed. Western countries have been trying to minimize China’s influence and risky behavior for years without success. Maybe this new alliance is the answer to their prayers.


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