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China Has Only Itself to Blame for AUKUS

3 0 0
24.09.2021

Late last week, the White House announced the creation of a new trilateral defense partnership among Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. At the heart of this new partnership, known as AUKUS, was the announcement that Washington and London would help Canberra develop and deploy nuclear-powered submarines.

China was not mentioned in this announcement, although the exponential growth of Beijing’s military power over the past decade was clearly the animating force behind the agreement. France was also not mentioned, even though Australia’s new agreement meant that it was dropping the 2016 contract it had with France for the delivery of French submarines. Not surprisingly, the announcement was met with bombast from Beijing and indignation from Paris.

But nobody should have been that shocked by the decision. It represented the convergence of three long-standing trend lines: the exponential growth and assertive use of the Chinese military; the drastic increase in political and economic pressure imposed on Australia by China; and the steadily growing American concerns about China, the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific, and Washington’s determination to align its strategy with the scale of that challenge.

Late last week, the White House announced the creation of a new trilateral defense partnership among Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. At the heart of this new partnership, known as AUKUS, was the announcement that Washington and London would help Canberra develop and deploy nuclear-powered submarines.

China was not mentioned in this announcement, although the exponential growth of Beijing’s military power over the past decade was clearly the animating force behind the agreement. France was also not mentioned, even though Australia’s new agreement meant that it was dropping the 2016 contract it had with France for the delivery of French submarines. Not surprisingly, the announcement was met with bombast from........

© Foreign Policy


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