onsdag 15. mars 2023

Aukus submarine deal: Is conflict with China getting closer?

China has reacted with predictable anger to this week's official announcement of the so-called Aukus pact. The details, unveiled on Monday in San Diego, bind together Australia, the UK and the US in a far-reaching defence and security alliance aimed at confronting Chinese military expansion in the Indo-Pacific region.

"Going down a dangerous road", "disregarding the concerns of the international community" and even "risking a new arms race and nuclear proliferation" are just some of the accusations being levelled by Beijing at this trio of western allies.

Not since the US Congressional leader Nancy Pelosi made her controversial visit to Taiwan last summer has China expressed such intense disapproval of Western actions. China, the world's most populous nation, with the world's largest army and navy, says it is starting to feel "penned in" by the US and its allies in the western Pacific. In response, President Xi Jinping announced recently that China would accelerate the expansion of its defence spending and named national security as the primary concern of the coming years.

Little wonder then that UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke this week about a dangerous decade ahead and the need to gear up to meet the growing security challenges. So how did we get to this point and is the world drawing closer to a catastrophic conflict in the Pacific between China and the US and its allies?