A new defense partnership is what Australia, Britain and the United States announced on Wednesday to “protect their interests” in the Indian Ocean. This angered China, whose officials considered this a “new cold war.”
Britain, the United States of America and Australia announced the establishment of a military alliance to “protect their interests” in the Pacific and Indian Oceans against Chinese influence there. The alliance, which was baptized as “Aukus”, aroused many resentments, especially China, which read in it the beginning of a new “Cold War”.
And it was not only China that was surprised by the news, but France, which was linked to Australia by a contract to build military submarines, pulled the rug out from under its feet to be compensated by the coalition, causing outrage. At the same time, the tripartite movement of the allied countries puts the world in front of a new episode of the series of competition with China, where the question arises about any parameters of this “new cold war”.
A “cold war” declared by “Aukus”?
According to a statement published on the British government’s website, “the leaders of the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia agreed on Wednesday to launch a historic defense and security partnership.” A new defense and security partnership to “protect its interests” in the Indo-Pacific. This partnership comes amid the increasing competition between the great powers with China in the two oceans.
The three countries called this partnership “AUKUS Alliance” and said that it “will promote the development of joint capabilities and technology sharing, ensuring that our employees are protected from harm and advancing our common goals.”
In the same context, Paris announced Wednesday night that Australia’s withdrawal from a deal it had concluded in 2016 with the French defense industry group Naval Group to buy conventional submarines was an “unfortunate decision”. On the other hand, Australia’s decline is due to its acquisition in return, within the framework of the partnership it has just concluded with the United States and Britain, on nuclear-powered submarines.
The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement that: “This decision is contrary to the letter and spirit of cooperation that prevailed between France and Australia.” She added, “The American choice, which leads to the exclusion of a European ally and partner such as France from a long-standing partnership with Australia, at a time when we face unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, indicates an instability that France can only monitor and regret.”
On the other hand, this partnership falls within the framework of the Western move to limit Chinese influence in the surrounding region. Thus, China responded to this by expressing its displeasure. The Chinese embassy in Washington said the United States, Britain and Australia should “get rid of the Cold War mentality and ideological bias”, in response to the new security agreement between the three countries. Commenting on the security agreement, its spokesman, Liu Bingyu, said that the three countries “should not form exclusionary blocs that target or harm the interests of third parties.”
Milestones of the “New Cold War”!
And the Chinese newspaper, “The Global Times”, reported that Australia has declared itself an “adversary” of China. The state-backed newspaper, which often goes beyond official statements, warned of an escalation, declaring that Australia could be targeted as a warning to others if it acted “boldly” loyal to the United States, or was “militarily resolute”.
The British Guardian reported, quoting a Chinese expert in international relations, that the “Aukus” alliance coincided with the largest decrease in the levels of dialogue between Beijing and the three countries. He added that if Australian submarines entered service in the waters of the China Sea, the Chinese response would be awaited, but “the question is what response will be at that time.”
Since the US presidential race, China has taken an important place in Joe Biden’s program and discussions, and the language of escalation has been exchanged between the two capitals, Washington and Beijing. The US President has accused China of concealing vital information about the origin of the Corona virus to disrupt international investigations in this regard.
President Biden maintained the economic tariffs imposed by Trump to block the entry of Chinese products into the United States. The US President also intends to hold a summit, attended by the leaders of India, Japan and Australia, to examine Chinese influence and discuss ways to limit it.