fredag 24. september 2021

Bertil Lintner: France’s loss is not China’s gain in the Indo-Pacific

The Indo-Pacific’s Cold War is heating up as the region splits ever more decisively into opposed camps with a loose alliance of US-led democratic powers on one side and authoritarian China and its aligned satellites on the other. And the first economic salvos of the contest launched by Donald Trump’s trade war are becoming more militarily provocative under Joe Biden.

The escalating contest took a game-changing turn last week when the US and Britain announced they will provide Australia with the technology and capability to develop and deploy nuclear-powered submarines in a new trilateral security arrangement that will put more pressure on China’s contested claims in the South China Sea and other maritime theaters.

The nuclear submarines will tilt the region’s strategic balance and potentially cause China to concentrate more of its security energies closer to home and less so on far-flung theaters. From that perspective, the submarine deal is part of a coordinated encirclement strategy that Beijing will certainly view as a threat to its plans to increase and strengthen its presence in the Indian Ocean region.