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This piece has been authored by Shrabana Barua, ICSSR Doctoral Candidate, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
US President Joe Biden participates in a virtual press conference on national security with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. The three nations launched the AUKUS partnership. (AFP)
US President Joe Biden participates in a virtual press conference on national security with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. The three nations launched the AUKUS partnership. (AFP)
Updated on Nov 05, 2021 03:40 PM IST
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It has been well over a month since Australia, United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) announced the formation of a security alliance, known as the AUKUS, on September 15. This came as a surprise to most. The reactions of Japan and India, US’s and Australia’s Indo-Pacific partners of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), so enthusiastically being revived since 2017, were considered important. Both Prime Ministers Yoshihide Suga and Narendra Modi were quick to defuse potential tension that could have triggered from such secretive alliance formation by one’s own allies. They congratulated the US for AUKUS while attending the first in-person Quad leaders’ summit in Washington on September 24.

brady vs riske,Essentially, Quad is now looked at as a non-military security grouping in the Indo-Pacific. AUKUS, on the other hand, is presented as a military, though non-treaty, security bloc. However, that both are complementary in nature and are largely born out of the American objective to counter China’s rise in the region is well understood. The latter is not openly acknowledged of course. Look for instance at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement that AUKUS is “not intended to be adversarial” towards China. Similarly, the Australian PM, Scott Morrison, left many puzzled when he stated that even China is welcome to join AUKUS.

tennis lessons richmond hill,Earlier, India’s external affairs minister, S Jaishanker, had made clear that Quad had to be seen outside of a ‘NATO-like’ mentality and refused to bind the group into any sort of military partnership aimed at one country. Japan had similar views. In fact, it is speculated that this is what catalysed the formation of AUKUS, an openly military alliance. It is not surprising, therefore, that as one of the first initiatives under AUKUS, Canberra is to procure technology for eight SSN nuclear-powered submarines from the US and the UK. This is more than the 6 SSNs that China reportedly has.

With this, many have already heralded the activation of a new Cold War in the Indo-Pacific, as also the formalisation of clear alliance systems. Elsewhere it is argued that unless an immediate cause necessitates it, an open war-like situation is not expected. But in a counterfactual scenario, if predictions are to be made of who would support which alliance system, it is crucial to study how especially Southeast Asia, that nourishes the core of the Indo-Pacific, has responded to these new developments.,basketball size 3

betway ecricket challenge,ASEAN (non)-response

nike soccer camp elmhurst,To be sure, there has been no official statement from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a forum. Neither was AUKUS mentioned in the ASEAN Chairman’s statement (which otherwise speaks of ASEAN political security community and ASEAN Outlook in the Indo-Pacific, i.e. AOIP) after the Summit held on October 26. Only member- states have given lukewarm reactions in the last few weeks. Except Malaysia and Indonesia, none of its 10 member-states have shown signs of protest at the formation of AUKUS. Even with these two states, the concerns seem hinged around the fear of a ‘nuclear arms race’, a far-fetched scenario, not likely to be a result of a state’s obtainment of SSNs alone. But, there are some reports about the Royal Thai Navy possibly using Canberra’s SSN deal as a justification for itself procuring 2 more diesel-powered Yuan class submarines from China. Therefore, it could be a valid point of concern.

On the other hand, Philippines’ secretary of foreign affairs, Teodoro Locsin, openly backed the SSN deal, stating it would help keep a balance in the region (read, effectively counter China). Singapore too hoped the AUKUS will lead to stability amidst US-China rivalry and harboured “no undue anxiety” because of it.,tennis bracelet black

There are yet others who have remained neutral. Despite its concerns about regional security, finding itself stuck between two allies – the US and China - Thailand’s silence on AUKUS is a case in point. Further, the Ssokesperson of the Vietnamese ministry of foreign affairs, Li Thi Thu Hang, gave a very lack lustre statement saying that Hanoi keeps track of current affairs in the region and hopes that all nations will contribute towards a common goal of peace. This is interesting given that Vietnam signed a defence transfer deal with Japan on September 11, only few days before AUKUS was announced. The current ASEAN chair, Brunei, simply wished to be approached on AUKUS, just as Malaysia has been, by Australia. Cambodia and Laos have been largely silent on the matter as well. On the other hand, Myanmar is busy dealing with the ASEAN Special Envoy’s efforts to implement the five-point consensus in the politically mismanaged state and has little to do with AUKUS at the moment. As it is, the junta is upset about not being included in the recent ASEAN Summit which even the US President joined virtually.,casino in goa on cruise

Acquiescing to AUKUS,basketball size 3

watch tennis online,Since much has been written about the ASEAN reaction to AUKUS, one question that has emerged is to do with the ASEAN non-response. Some have even asked, why ASEAN member-states have not given sharp reactions to AUKUS, like they had to the US’s earlier attempts at countering China, say the ‘pivot to Asia’ policy? This entails a three-fold answer.

basketball size 3,One, with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) announced in 2013 and made part of the CPC Constitution in 2017, the Chinese Dream began to find means to achieve it. With it also came expanding Beijing’s power, both soft and hard, neither of which it has left unattended. The aggressive persual of this has fuelled the ‘China threat’ further. Therefore, ASEAN’s earlier vigour at resisting the US-led attempt at countering China has waned. Two, the need for a non-ASEAN option has grown over time. ASEAN seems divided on many crucial issues, as seen during the question of how to deal with the tatmadaw in Myanmar, for example. In terms of security, states have been partnering with various countries in Asia and beyond. The example of Vietnam is has already been mentioned. Three, AUKUS members have taken care to address concerns with care. Whether it be because of the Australian envoy to ASEAN, Will Nankervis, reiterating Australia’s commitment to stability and peace in the region, or US secretary of state, Anthony Bliken, providing the US’s assurance of respect for ASEAN centrality and commitment to AOIP, ASEAN states have been acquiescing to the new security complex that has formed in the Indo-Pacific.

This piece has been authored by Shrabana Barua, ICSSR Doctoral Candidate, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

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Saturday, December 04, 2021
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