The United States and the United Kingdom and Australia have launched a new trilateral security cooperation organization called ‘AUKUS’. It is a phase in which the U.S.’s ‘China blockade’ military and security cooperation is three-dimensionally reconstructed as Quad (U.S., Japan, Australia, India, quadruple cooperation) and Five Eyes (U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, information sharing alliance), followed by Ocus. . In particular, in 1958, the United States agreed to support Australia’s possession of nuclear-powered submarines for the first time since Britain. China is reacting when the US strengthens Australia, which has been in close ties with China, as a key forward force in its Indo-Pacific strategy. The reaction is called “Anglo-Saxon Asia-Pacific NATO”. At the same time, it is expected that the impact on Korea’s nuclear submarine program will be greatly increased, as well as the burden on Korea due to the intensification of the US-China conflict.
US President Joe Biden announced the launch of AUKUS along with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who participated in a videoconference at the White House on the 15th (local time). AUKUS is a name created by combining the first letters of the country names of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States in that order. “According to the enduring ideal and common commitment of an international order based on rules, we have decided to deepen diplomatic, security and defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, including cooperation with our allies,” Biden said. The US side selected cyber, artificial intelligence (AI), quantum technology, underwater domain, and long-range strike capability as areas of trilateral cooperation.
The United States and Great Britain are traditional Atlantic alliances from one root. Australia and the United Kingdom are also core countries of the Commonwealth, and the two countries have signed the Pacific Security Treaty (ANZUS) with New Zealand. In addition, the United States is developing a quadruple, a security consultative body to contain China, together with Australia, and the three countries are also key countries in the Anglo-American intelligence alliance, Five Eyes. “This partnership is not aimed at any specific country,” a senior US government official said. In President Biden’s announcement, the word ‘China’ was not mentioned. However, the reason why these close countries dared to build a new front for security cooperation is to contain China, a key competitor of the United States.
The first target of cooperation between the three countries is support for the development of nuclear submarines in Australia. Australia has recently been in a state of diplomatic tension with China, including trade tensions. In 1958, the United States decided to hand over the nuclear submarine development technology, a key military technology that had not been provided except to the United Kingdom in 1958. The US and UK have agreed to send a tech strategy team to help Australia over the next 18 months. “Australia is not trying to acquire nuclear weapons,” Prime Minister Morrison said in a video press conference with the leaders of the three countries. Nuclear-powered submarines use a nuclear reactor as their power source and are loaded with nuclear fuel and can submerge indefinitely for at least 10 years. Submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) can attack immediately. Australia is expected to build 12 ships in the next 20 years. The Washington Post, an American daily, interpreted that “US officials claim that the intention of the new alliance is not to specifically challenge China, but this announcement is an American measure to counter China’s military and technological advancement.”
With the withdrawal of Afghanistan’s troops, the United States is expected to increase the level of pressure on China, as it has room to invest additional forces in the Indo-Pacific region, including China. On the 24th, in Washington, Australia, as well as Japan and India, will be invited to the first face-to-face summit of the quad. AUKUS’s mention of cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is also part of the establishment of the Chinese encirclement network.
The US and China leaders held a second phone call after Biden took office on the 9th to explore ways to cooperate, but no progress has been made. Tensions are expected to continue to rise until the G20 summit in Italy at the end of next month.
For South Korea, if the US offensive gets stronger and China counterattacks, it is a structure that will inevitably cause trouble in establishing a route. In particular, on the 15th, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, took precautions against President Moon Jae-in and mentioned ‘mutual respect for core interests’.
The Moon Jae-in administration, which is pursuing the development of nuclear submarines, can also look at the process of cooperation between the United States and Australia. However, a high-ranking US official said, “To be honest, this is an exception to our policy in many respects.”
Washington = Jeong Sang-won correspondent [email protected]
Kim Pyo-hyang reporter [email protected]
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