Home Views & Opinions Implication of AUCKUS Pact for Australia

Implication of AUCKUS Pact for Australia

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Australia via AUCKUS pact very craftily being dragged by USA into a nasty game of Super-powers rivalry and race. Australia has revealed its inclination towards USA in super power game and given an explicit signal of standing against China which may prove to be quite detrimental for the national interests of Australia in the long run.
China is a constant threat for USA monopoly in the Asia-Pacific region. Indeed, China is a country with world class economy and military. Oceans have always been an important factor in great power politics games .After the disintegration of USSR and emergence of new world order, oceans have become the new pivot or theatre of international politics. To secure its national interests and to maintain balance of power China has expanded its naval modernization in Indian Pacific Ocean. China, historically been a continental power. China supremacy in a globalized market and engagement is growing with a number of international key issues such as global warming, energy security, nation-building, nuclear proliferation, global & financial system. Thereby, to fulfil these national security objectives, China needs to have access to all strategic resources and protecting the critical sea lanes transporting energy supplies from abroad, in the overall interest of its development and for the freedom and safety of navigation in international trade waterway.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has developed defence reforms which are focusing upon all the resources from land to air and naval power. And the Chinese defence ministry has been articulating the need for strategy to gradually shift its focus from “offshore waters defence” to “open-seas protection.” China enjoying modern navy capable of projecting force, ship by ship, port by port, it has over the past two decades been assembling one of the essential engines of global power which should not be undermined by any state of the world. China has 183 cruisers, destroyers, small surface ships and submarines, compared with 188 for the US. A report released by the USA department of defense in 2020 states that the people’s liberation army navy has surpassed the United States navy in total battle force ships the ratio stands 360 to 297 a gap. China’s DF-21D armed ballistic missile is designed to attack moving ships. China’s military expansion give it a solid forward base to deploy combat aircraft and mobile missile launchers. China smartly curtailed the gap on American military power so much so that US Admiral Phillip Davidson warned that China would “forcibly change the status quo”. China has invested in anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles to counter US naval power.It is a strategy known as anti-access/area denial (A2/AD). For Beijing, it is the cornerstone of its stated aim to fight and win a regional war.
Australia although had long maintained that it will never tilted towards two super powers either China or USA, but in recent years its attitude towards Beijing is turning rigid. It maliciously alleged China for cyber-attacks on its key institutions. Australia last year demanded for an investigation against China on the origin of Coronavirus which further strained the relations between the two followed by Chinese sanctions against Australian exports. AUCKUS is a big coup for the country. Australia is at the crossroads of this historical moment. The pact has given Australia edge to nuclear-powered submarines and long-range missiles from US technology. Australia for the first time in history now has a leverage to attack from distance its adversaries during a war or conflict.
AUCKUS pact is critical move of Washington to share crown jewel of its technology as an attempt to keep China at bay.
Some of the International Relations experts believe that Australia has ceded its sovereignty to the US via AUCKUS deal. The former Australian PM Kevin Rudd has described nuclear- powered submarine AUCKUS deal as full of “massive flaws”. Indo-Pacific. Australian government’s unilateral repeal of the submarine contact with France and switch to nuclear powered submarine took place like “bolt from the blue”. Without a US veto it is impossible for the major strike capacity of the Australian navy to operate. Australia may get autonomous and decision maker position regarding its national interest but still would be relying upon foreign technology and it would become just the seventh nation in the world to operate nuclear-powered submarines.
The debris of the AUKUS is just the beginning, it might have lasting damage. The decision to exclude France in the AUKUS security pact, can further solidify France’s view that the EU needs a strategic review to defend its interests in the Indo-Pacific. French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described enhanced trilateral security partnership” between three “maritime so called democracies as a “stab in the back” that constituted “unacceptable behavior between allies and partners. Officials in Brussels informed CNN that the timing of the AUKUS announcement was brutal and rude. A senior EU official while talking to CNN sarcastically said that this was “English-speaking countries” who are “very belligerent” forming an alliance against China, and these were the same nations who took the lead in invading Afghanistan and Iraq -And we all know the results. The EU’s strategy for handling China differs from the U.S. in one major way: the EU actively seeks cooperation with China, and sees it as an economic and strategic partner. Brussels officials believe that by trading and working with China, not only can they lean on Beijing to reform their human rights and energy policies, but also use a good relationship with China to act as a buffer between Beijing and Washington, thus giving the EU a clear and important geopolitical role.
China, has accused AUCKUS pact and criticized the allies of having a “Cold War mentality” that would hurt their own interests. The Chinese state-run media has warned of an arms race for nuclear submarines, adding that Australian soldiers were likely to be the “first to die” in a Chinese “counterattack”.
The repercussions on French-Australian ties will be severe as Australia needs the French to secure an EU free-trade agreement. AUKUS pact already has caused some backlash within the Asean group of 10 South-East Asian nations. Indonesia has cancelled a meeting with Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and Malaysia has warned the pact is a “catalyst for a nuclear arms race”.
The AUKUS cooperation also reveals double standards of UK and USA to adopt nuclear cooperation as a vicious tool for their geo political gain without taking into the consideration the risk of nuclear- proliferation while they impose sanctions on Iran and North Korea for carrying their same nuclear program.
The AUKUS deal also highlights little value and position of India and Japan in QUAD (united front formed to counter CHINA) than Australia which hold such a compelling geopolitical relevance for Washington, which is the hub of America’s Indo-Pacific strategy. Tokyo and Delhi need to undertake AUKUS carefully as it will affect their strategic position & choices in nearby future and both might be discarded soon as “used tissues, a” RUHLESS & SELFISH “foreign policy tool” of USA.
The irrational Washington decision to stare down China’s rise in Asia and world at large will have serious repercussions for the international community as world will split into two camps, with the US and China with rival internets, currency, trade, financial rules and their own zero-sum geopolitical and military strategies.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned of a potential new cold war between China and the United States.
“We need to avoid at all cost a cold war that would be different from the past one, and probably more dangerous and more difficult to manage.”
Antonio Guterres implored the two major super powers to repair their “completely dysfunctional” relationship. Guterres stressed that US-Britain deal to give Australia nuclear-powered submarines so it could operate undetected in Asia “is just one small piece of a more complex puzzle … this completely dysfunctional relationship between China and the United States”.
Washington ties with Beijing faltered under incumbent Joe Biden regime as US solidifying its diplomatic partnerships in Asia to contain China’s dominance in the world’s affairs.
AUCKUS agreement could be detrimental for the world due to unnecessary and greater US involvement in the region. The more willing USA is to threaten other countries’ interests, threaten economic coercion … the more countries off course will retaliate back.
The ambitious USA needs to learn from its past blunders. Indeed, recent humiliating evacuation of US and ally forces from Afghanistan gave them a memorable lesson not to poke their nose unnecessarily with hegemonic designs as despite spending trillions of dollars yet they were not even able to solve the country’s problems rather, turned them worse and harmed their own interests.
USA need to act as a “responsible stakeholder” in international affairs and as far as Australia over excitement after AUCKUS deal is concerned I’ll quote a famous saying “A Nation Must Think before It Acts”.