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A pact of peace or disaster?


  • 9/15/2021


  • Most notably the nations around the Indo-Pacific region, but it affects relations worldwide


Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States formed the AUKUS pact of security allowing the U.K. and U.S. to use their own technology and research to help Australia build nuclear submarines. This pact, through cyber technologies, AI capabilities, as well as the aforementioned submarines, strengthens the airforce and navy of Australia. However, the pact may endanger relations between these three nations and France because Australia would have to cut off their 90 billion dollar submarine deal with France. The leaders of all 3 nations (Joe Biden: president of America, Scott Morrison: prime minister of Australia, and Boris Johnson: prime minister of Britain) have not directly alluded to a specific reason why, but anonymous white house members have alleged explained that Australia is pursuing this pact as a means of effectively combating China’s rising influence near the Indo-Pacific region. Many Western countries have even voiced their concerns about China’s exploits, further raising tensions in the South China Sea. However, these speculations are difficult to verify because there have been no official reasons provided by Western officials.

CHINA’S RESPONSE: Right from the start, it is important to mention that relations between China and these 3 global powers have always been ill. The AUKUS pact never directly advertised opposition towards China, but they sure think that the pact is an aggressive defense to their ongoing expansion into the South China Sea. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi explained his thought process, describing that the three countries were acting too selfishly in their pursuit of geopolitical areas, and even went on record to comment on how the three countries should “respect regional people’s aspiration […] otherwise they will only end up hurting their own interests,” and later continued with “ Australian troops are also most likely to be the first batch of western soldiers to waste their lives in the South China Sea.” Many interpreted these messages as hostile threats of further intervention in the Indo-Pacific region.

FRANCE’S ANGER: In another instance of foreign resentment of the AUKUS Pact, France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was very displeased and even went as far as to say that it was a “stab in the back.” Why? Because France had originally been given some future control over the Indo-Pacific region as a result of their pact with Australia. They worried that rupturing this pact would be problematic to their interests since they were no longer given this expansive authority. Australia's decision to move away from the pact (moving from France’s diesel submarines to the United State’s advanced nuclear-powered vessels) would also harm France’s influence and economic relations with Australia. French engineers and other parts of France’s workforce have put time and been paid to supply Australia with these submarines.

Today, as international relations continue to tense up as countries break off and form alliances, the AUKUS Pact will undoubtedly have ripples that extend past the United States, China, Australia, and the UK. Now, China might have to face a new, powerful, nuclear-armed foe in the Indo-Pacific as they have never encountered. Additionally, this pact affirms major implications for the entirety of Europe. It affirms that following Brexit (the initiative for the UK to leave the European Union), America is supportive of the UK rather than the EU. France sided with the UK and the US during both world wars, but now divisive pacts like the AUKUS pact threaten future naval battles over territory in the Indo-Pacific region as their interests align but their alliance does not for this matter, however, we can only theorize at this current state. We can hopefully look forward to delegated meetings between the Indo-Pacific countries to quell this potential conflict, or else we might be headed for our next major international conflict.



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