Recently, Australia became a part of an alliance along with US and UK to form AUKUS, although a ruckus was formed around the exclusion of France. In that light, let’s see what this alliance is all about and what is India’s current scenario regarding geopolitics around China.
Crux of the Matter
Origin And Purpose
On 16th September 2021, Australia, US and UK announced a new defence deal, with the US sharing nuclear propulsion technology with someone apart from the UK for the first time.
Under the deal, UK and US would help Australia deploy nuclear-powered submarines in the Pacific region. This trilateral alliance is called AUKUS, which stands for Australia, US and UK.
Australia ended its 2016 contract with France for 12 diesel electric-powered submarines. Notably, that deal was reconfirmed by Australia 2 weeks prior to the AUKUS deal. France recalled its ambassadors from US and Australia afterwards.
Relations of France with Australia and US have soured, with the French foreign minister calling the deal a “stab in the back”.
China denounced the alliance, terming it “severely damaging regional peace and stability” and “intensifying an arms race”. The deal, though not explicitly stating it, is widely known to be a response against China’s expansion in the South China Sea and aggression towards Taiwan.
The deal also includes developing cyber security, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, etc. However, France, an important player in the alliance, is sidelined. Moreover, amidst similar allegations of US sidelining India and Japan, overall impact of AUKUS against China is being doubted by analysts.
India is among the 6 nations possessing nuclear-powered submarines. Since 2018, INS Arihant is classified as a Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarine, making the country capable of launching nuclear missiles from land, air and water.
The first ever nuclear bomb was tested on 16th July, 1945, at a site located 210 miles south of Los Alamos, New Mexico. The test was code-named Trinity and the site is now owned by US Department of Defense.