Nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, to enormously strengthen the American and Western presence in Asia and contain China’s aims. Joe Biden has unveiled a new military alliance in the Pacific, dubbed Aukus, which will see the United States and Great Britain provide Canberra with the delicate technology necessary to equip itself with a fleet of atomic submarines, albeit armed with cruise missiles with conventional warheads.
Beijing’s harsh response was not long in coming. It has attacked a Cold War and “irresponsible” mentality and questioned Australia’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, a treaty to which it is a signatory.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijain said China “will monitor the situation” and called on the three countries to abandon “obsolete concepts and respect the aspirations of the peoples of the region”, otherwise “they will harm their own interests.” it is explicitly mentioned in the three-party pact, but Biden’s goal is clear.
Washington against Beijing and Asia as a theater of confrontation
In announcing Aukus from the White House, joined via teleconference by British leader Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, he stressed that he wanted to preserve “a free and open Indo-Pacific region” and deal with the current “strategic climate” . Washington denounces Beijing’s aggression with growing concern, from the Silk Road in the economy to the bellicose claims of disputed islands in the South China Sea and threats to Taiwan.
It has long since begun a turn towards Asia, now accelerated by the withdrawal from Afghanistan, as the epicenter of geopolitical priorities, labeling China as the main strategic opponent. In the next few days Biden has also convened the Quad, the forum that includes the US, Japan, India and Australia, at the White House. The newborn Aukus reflects this turning point. The new submarines will have unlimited range, capable of pushing into the South China Sea and Taiwan, of operating in absolute silence and difficult to intercept, with the possibility of allied naval maneuvers in the area that drastically change the military balance in the region.