- Sputnik International, 1920, 21.09.2021
AUKUS
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 to Become Key Platform to Directly Challenge China in Indo-Pacific, Think Tank Suggests

© AP Photo / Zha ChunmingIn this Friday, July 8, 2016, file photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese missile frigate Yuncheng launches an anti-ship missile during a military exercise in the waters near south China's Hainan Island and Paracel Islands. China is holding another round of military drills in the South China Sea amid an uptick in such activity in the area highlighting growing tensions
In this Friday, July 8, 2016, file photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese missile frigate Yuncheng launches an anti-ship missile during a military exercise in the waters near south China's Hainan Island and Paracel Islands. China is holding another round of military drills in the South China Sea amid an uptick in such activity in the area highlighting growing tensions - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.10.2021
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NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - The AUKUS defence alliance announced by Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom is primarily meant to become a key platform to directly challenge China in the Indo-Pacific region, Robinder Sachdev, the founder and head of New Delhi-based think tank Imagindia Institute, told Sputnik.

"The objective of the AUKUS firstly is a straight-forward military alliance between the US, UK, and Australia. The AUKUS will be the primary platform, vehicle, a military force that will have the firepower, and will directly challenge, and counter-challenge China in the Indo-Pacific region, in the 21st century", Sachdev said.

The alliance is, nevertheless, "more than a typical pooling of militaries, and hardware", the expert said, noting that the three-member states will invest heavily in research and development to "co-develop technologies and hardware, software of the future", including in artificial intelligence.
Commenting on other objectives behind the AUKUS, Sachdev said that Washington is also seeking to sell its military hardware in the Indo-Pacific region to boost its domestic economy and create new jobs at home. Australia will become a big customer for US defence companies, while rising tensions in the region will prompt other nations, like Japan and South Korea, to buy more from the US.

"The third objective for America, perhaps a most important, is that America has decided that it must and should dominate oceans on both sides alone, on its own horsepower — the Atlantic, and the Pacific. This is a quantum leap for America — to be a truly global power. Thus far, the US was fairly dominating the Atlantic — and the land areas, countries of Europe", he said.

When asked why India, which also seeks to challenge China's dominance in the region, was not included in the alliance, the expert said that new Delhi had always been "reluctant to take on 'ally' status with any super-power", of which the US is well aware.
© REUTERS / Tom BrennerPresident Biden delivers remark on National Security at the White House
President Biden delivers remark on National Security at the White House
 - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.10.2021
President Biden delivers remark on National Security at the White House

"Plus, though India needs to counter China, yet India also realizes that long-term solution to the China issue can only be peaceful co-existence", Sachdev said.

The fact that India is left behind the alliance does not change anything for Washington, as it is still a good market for US defence companies — India will continue to invest in its defensive and offensive capabilities.
Additionally, the creation of the AUKUS alliance is a good development for the Quad platform, another mechanism to contain China that includes India, the US, Japan and Australia, the expert said.

"India gets a free ride on the military muscle of AUKUS. So, India is free of the worry to create a military alliance against China. The AUKUS will do that job... if any question of military stand-off in the Indo-Pacific — the AUKUS may take that responsibility, and fight those wars", he said.

The Quad, in the meantime, will be able to focus on other aspects, such as developing supply chains and technology cooperation.
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