On 15 September, the US, UK, and Australia announced the new trilateral AUKUS defence partnership. While the partners said it's designed to protect and defend "our shared interests in the Indo-Pacific", some experts believe the true purpose of the partnership is to counter China.
AUKUS Will Not Have Any Impact on Quad, Says Indian Foreign Secretary Ahead of Leaders' Summit
The new arrangement between Australia, the UK and the US, dubbed AUKUS, has triggered a debate over the status of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) as Washington has been trying to build a security alliance in Asia alleged by many to be aimed at countering China’s rise in the Indo-Pacific region.
Amid concerns over the newly-established alliance in the Indo-Pacific region, India has said that the Quad and AUKUS are not groupings of a similar nature and are not connected in any manner.
“QUAD is designed to cater to the requirements of the Indo-Pacific whereas AUKUS is a security alliance between three countries,” Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India’s Foreign Secretary, said while briefing media in New Delhi ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US.
Narendra Modi will attend the first ever in person summit of the Quad-- a grouping of India, the US, Japan and Australia-- in Washington on September 24th that is expected to broadly focus on contemporary global and regional issues.
Shringla said the leaders will also exchange views on contemporary global issues such as critical and emerging technologies, connectivity and infrastructure, cyber security, and maritime security.
“Quad is a plurilateral grouping-- group of countries that have shared vision of their attributes and values. They also have a shared vision of the Indo-Pacific Region as a free and open, transparent and inclusive region. The Quad has adopted a positive, proactive agenda which includes a varied range of agenda at the global level to address some of the issues of the day,” Shringla underscored.
Shringla said that the newly-formed security alliance is not the party to the Quad.
“From our perspective, this is neither relevant to the quad, nor will it have any impact on its functioning."
However, Shringla steered clear of admitting that the Quad is a completely non-military, non-security alliance of four Indo-Pacific countries.
“Essentially the Quad will deal with all the issues that would further its objectives that is seen of a common vision, of an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, and inclusive; from that perspective, the quad will function or do what it takes,” he said while replying to a direct question as to whether the Quad includes military component of any manner.
On 15 September, US President Joe Biden announced the creation of a new trilateral partnership with Australia and the UK. Under the new arrangement, the US and the UK will help to build nuclear-propelled submarines for Australia, which resulted in that country cancelling its multi-billion dollar submarine deal with France.