US decline after the Afghanistan withdrawal? AUKUS, Quad meeting and the strenghtening of ties with Asian US allies
After the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Greater Middle East, China was triumphant, claimed that the US allies couldn´t see the USA as a reliable partner anymore as they would retreat and run away if the US faces Chinese military power or other enemies. The Global Times even asked: “ Afghanistan today, Taiwan tomorrow?”and claimed that the USA and the West is in decline. However. Biden is now free from the shackles of Afghanistan and Iraq and can focus on the Asian pivot and China. That´s exactly what is happening now. Biden will meet Indian leader Modi, held a Quad meeting, a Summit of Democracies strengthen the ties with Japan, Vietnam and Taiwan that the Global Times already warned that Biden should not cross red lines as to rename the Taiwanese Econonic and Cultural Offices to Taiwanese Representative Office . This could mean that a fourth Taiwan crisis would be the result with an economic blockade and domination of Taiwanese air space by the PLA.
However the USA and its Asian allies show no signs of fear, but just to the oppsosite strenghten their anti- Chinese front and Biden now build with the UK and Australia a new defense pact beyond ANZUS and the Five Eye Agreement. The USA, Great Britain and Australia are expanding their engagement in the Indo-Pacific region with a new security partnership called AUKUS. The Anglosaxons seem to have their old and traditional special relations as the backbone and core of an anti- Chinese front. The Europeans are perceived as not that important. They might be an auxillary force, but not he backbone of the Indo-Pacific power relations as the EU is perceived as a weak power, too moderate, to close and dependent from China. Even as France signed a bllion submarine contract with Australia, tried to play the Taiwan card, it is seen as an more isolated European power. And the EU Indo-Pacific strategy which Borell wants to announce isn´t perceived by the Anglosaxons as reliable, sustainable and powerful. China wanted to punish Australia as it is one of the most anti-China forces in Asia and doesn´t fear economic sanctions by China. China wanted to demonstrate that if you bully Australia and it gives in, if you kill the ape to shock the monkeys, the US allies will be scared and give in. Now the opposite happens and Australia decided to rely on the Anglosaxons as they seem more willing to support and defend it than the European whimps. France reacts indignantly and feels betrayed.
With a new security partnership for the Indo-Pacific region, the United States, Great Britain and Australia are countering China’s expansion of power in the region even more strongly. The alliance should enable Australia, among other things, to build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time. The American President Joe Biden, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had announced the new pact called „AUKUS“ late on Wednesday. Biden described the alliance as a „historic step“ with which the tried and tested cooperation between the three partners will be further deepened and formalized in order to secure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific in the long term. „We need to be able to deal with both the current strategic environment in the region and its possible developments,“ said Biden. Johnson said in a similar way: „The aim is to work hand in hand to maintain security and stability in the Indo-Pacific,“ said the British Prime Minister. With the security partnership, the three countries opened “a new chapter” in their friendship. Australian Prime Minister Morrison pointed out that the future of the Indo-Pacific will affect the future of all three countries. The heads of government referred to the common values and their commitment to the “rule-based order” under which they were involved in the region.
Although the pact clearly turns its gaze towards China, the country was not mentioned once in the statements. However, the Chinese embassy in Washington immediately condemned him. The countries should „not form an exclusive bloc that targets or harms the interests of third parties“. They should „shed their Cold War mentality and ideological prejudices,“ said a Reuters news agency spokesman. According to the heads of government, the cooperation will not be limited to the narrow framework of the three countries. Among other things, the ASEAN states, the „Quad“ called Security Dialogue, to which Japan and India belong in addition to the USA and Australia, but also European states such as France, with which the three countries in the Indo-Pacific want to exchange more ideas. In a separate communication, Morrison and several of his ministers clearly warned of the greatly increased security policy challenges in the area. The armies were modernizing at an unprecedented rate, rapidly expanding their capabilities and expanding their range. „The technological lead that Australia and our partners have is getting smaller,“ it said. While the areas of cyber and artificial intelligence should also play a role in the alliance, the focus of the pact is now initially on the construction of nuclear-powered submarines in Australia. According to Johnson, the project will be one of the „most complex and technically demanding on earth“ that will be carried out over several decades. The three heads of government announced that planning should begin in the next 18 months. All three heads of government pointed out that the submarines should not be equipped with nuclear weapons. „These are conventional submarines that are nuclear powered,“ said Biden. In addition, Australia has announced plans to purchase additional military equipment, including Tomahawk missiles.
The Morrison government announced that a deal for the delivery of twelve conventional attack-class submarines with the French Naval Group will be discontinued. The French provider had prevailed against the German manufacturer Thyssen-Krupp Marine Services (TKMS) in the lucrative business. The project was criticized for multiple delays and rising costs. The Canberra government thanked the Naval Group and its partner Lockheed Martin Australia on Thursday for their work to date. „However, in view of the accelerated changes in the regional security architecture, conventional submarines will no longer be suitable for our operational needs in the coming decades,“ it said. The Australian government spoke of at least eight nuclear powered submarines expected to be built in Adelaide, South Australia. The French government has complained about a „brutal, unforeseeable decision“. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s indignation was directed against Biden and the Australian government alike. „This is very similar to the way Mr. Trump went about it,“ said Le Drian on Thursday on the radio station France Info. He spoke of a „stab in the back“. That is not the right thing to do among NATO allies. The foreign minister complained that confidence in the Australian government had been destroyed.
France had signed a strategic partnership agreement with Australia. It was the most important pillar of the French Indo-Pacific strategy. The reasons put forward by Australia for the unilateral termination of the submarine business are not convincing in Paris. At the request of Australia, France wanted to convert its nuclear-powered submarines to diesel engines. Now it is said that the American offer is better because it provides for nuclear propulsion. The anger in Paris is also directed against Washington. In a joint communiqué, Foreign Minister and Defense Minister Florence Parly deplore the lack of strategic coherence. The American decision to exclude an ally and European partner like France from a strategic partnership in the Indo-Pacific is regrettable. In Paris, the prevailing impression is that Biden was the driving force behind the new strategic alliance.
However, the USA, the UK and Australia think that France will swallow its relative setback in the Indo-Pacific in comparison to their special relations and Anglosaxon axis. The official UK government statement is published on the UK website attached by the joint declaration:
“UK, US AND Australia launch new security partnership
‘AUKUS’ partnership will work to protect our people and support a peaceful and rules-based international order.
Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
15 September 2021
- ‘AUKUS’ partnership will work to protect our people and support a peaceful and rules-based international order
- First initiative will be collaboration on future nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy
- New alliance will bolster the Integrated Review commitment to strengthen alliances with like-minded allies and deepen ties in the Indo-Pacific
A landmark defence and security partnership has been agreed by the leaders of the UK, the United States and Australia today which will protect and defend our shared interests in the Indo-Pacific.
Under the ‘AUKUS’ alliance, we will enhance the development of joint capabilities and technology sharing, ensuring our people are kept safe from harm and reinforcing our shared goals. AUKUS will foster deeper integration of security and defence-related science, technology, industrial bases and supply chains.
AUKUS is a concrete articulation of the UK’s ambition, made in the Integrated Review, to deepen defence, security and foreign policy ties with like-minded allies across the globe. The agreement reflects the unique level of trust and cooperation between our three countries, who already share extensive intelligence through the Five Eyes alliance.
The first initiative under AUKUS will be a collaboration on future nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. This capability will promote stability in the Indo-Pacific and will be deployed in support of our shared values and interests.
The UK has built and operated world-class nuclear-powered submarines for over 60 years. We will therefore bring deep expertise and experience to the project through, for example, the work carried out by Rolls Royce near Derby and BAE Systems in Barrow.
The initial scoping phase for the new endeavour is expected to take 18 months. The design and build process will create hundreds of highly skilled scientific and engineering roles across the UK, and drive investment in some of our most high-tech sectors.
The Prime Minister said:
The UK, Australia and US are natural allies – while we may be separated geographically, our interests and values are shared. The AUKUS alliance will bring us closer than ever, creating a new defence partnership and driving jobs and prosperity.
This partnership will become increasingly vital for defending our interests in the Indo-Pacific region and, by extension, protecting our people back at home.
The UK and US are already leading members of NATO – the world’s most important defence alliance. The work done by AUKUS will support our shared goals in new regions, promoting stability and protecting our people against new and emerging threats.
In recent years, the UK and Australia have increased collaboration on defence. The Royal Australian Navy is procuring up to 9 of the UK’s Type 26 frigates, allowing our defence forces to operate together more than ever before. Our militaries, including the Royal Gurkha Rifles, have also undertaken joint training exercises.
In recent weeks the UK’s HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier has been deployed to the Indo-Pacific region alongside personnel and equipment from the US. Last month the Carrier Strike Group undertook a series of exercises with countries including Australia to build interoperability with like-minded partners.
As set out in the Integrated Review, the Indo-Pacific is at the centre of intensifying geopolitical competition with potential flashpoints including unresolved territorial disputes; to nuclear proliferation and miscalculation; to climate change and non-state threats from terrorism and Serious Organised Crime. It is on the frontline of new security challenges, including in cyberspace.
Joint Leaders statement on AUKUS:
As leaders of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, guided by our enduring ideals and shared commitment to the international rules-based order, we resolve to deepen diplomatic, security, and defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, including by working with partners, to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. As part of this effort, we are announcing the creation of an enhanced trilateral security partnership called “AUKUS” – Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Through AUKUS, our governments will strengthen the ability of each to support our security and defense interests, building on our longstanding and ongoing bilateral ties. We will promote deeper information and technology sharing. We will foster deeper integration of security and defense-related science, technology, industrial bases, and supply chains. And in particular, we will significantly deepen cooperation on a range of security and defense capabilities.
As the first initiative under AUKUS, recognizing our common tradition as maritime democracies, we commit to a shared ambition to support Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. Today, we embark on a trilateral effort of 18 months to seek an optimal pathway to deliver this capability. We will leverage expertise from the United States and the United Kingdom, building on the two countries’ submarine programs to bring an Australian capability into service at the earliest achievable date.
The development of Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines would be a joint endeavour between the three nations, with a focus on interoperability, commonality, and mutual benefit. Australia is committed to adhering to the highest standards for safeguards, transparency, verification, and accountancy measures to ensure the non-proliferation, safety, and security of nuclear material and technology. Australia remains committed to fulfilling all of its obligations as a non-nuclear weapons state, including with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Our three nations are deeply committed to upholding our leadership on global non-proliferation.
Recognizing our deep defense ties, built over decades, today we also embark on further trilateral collaboration under AUKUS to enhance our joint capabilities and interoperability. These initial efforts will focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities.
The endeavour we launch today will help sustain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. For more than 70 years, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have worked together, along with other important allies and partners, to protect our shared values and promote security and prosperity. Today, with the formation of AUKUS, we recommit ourselves to this vision.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson, President Joseph R Biden and Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Australia´s position is explained in detail in an 9 News article which quotes Australian Prime minister Scott Morrison in full length:
“Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines in historic security pact with US and UK
12:49pm Sep 16, 2021
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has issued a stark warning about the challenges Australia faces, after the announcement of the historic AUKUS alliance this morning.
„The relatively benign security environment we have enjoyed for many decades in our region is behind us,“ he said today, hours after the morning announcement alongside US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
„We have entered, no doubt, a new era with new challenges for Australia and for our partners and friends and countries right across our region.“
Mr Morrison said the trilateral alliance was the most significant pact Australia had entered since the ANZUS treaty with the US and New Zealand.
The pact will also see Australia acquire its first fleet of nuclear-powered submarines and scrap a $90 billion deal with French submarine maker Naval Group struck in 2016.
Mr Morrison said the landmark production of the submarines in Australia would begin in the next decade.
„Nuclear-powered (submarines) have clear advantages. Greater endurance, they’re faster, they have greater power, greater stealth, more carrying capacity,“ he said.
„These make nuclear submarines the desired substantial capability enhancement that Australia has needed.
„It helps us to build regional resilience as part of this first initiative.“
‚One-off‘ chance to access technology
Mr Morrison said it was the first time the technology had ever been made available to Australia.
„Indeed only one other country has been given access to this technology back in the late 1950s – the United Kingdom, from the United States,“ he said.
„This is a one-off, as the President in Washington has made very clear.“
Mr Morrison said when Australia had made its last submarine deal in 2016, it had not been in a position to build and operate a nuclear-powered submarine.
„It wasn’t on the table for a range of reasons, so the decision we have made to not continue with the Attack-class submarine and to go down this path is not a change of mind, it’s a change of need,“ he said.
„The goal has remained the same.“
Mr Morrison said developments since 2016 had not only made a nuclear-powered submarine fleet feasible for Australia, but also a strategic necessity.
„Next-generation nuclear-powered submarines will use reactors that do not need refuelling during the life of the boat,“ he said.
„A civil nuclear power capability here in Australia is not required to pursue this new capability. These are game-changing differences in the technology and the opportunity that Australia has.
„But there have also been game-changing developments in the strategic circumstances of our region, which continue to accelerate at a pace even not envisaged as little as five years ago.“
Nuclear weapons ’not on the agenda‘
Mr Morrison emphasised Australia was not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.
„Australia has no interest in that. No plans for it, no policy for it, no contemplation of it. It’s not on our agenda,“ he said.
Mr Morrison said the government would also commit to enhancing its long-range strike capability, including Tomahawk cruise missiles for Australian Hobart-class destroyers, and extended air-to-surface ranges for Australia’s jets.
„We have increased our defence spending as a share of our economy to over two per cent ahead of time, and we will have to keep pressing forward,“ he said.
He said Australia’s Collins-class submarines remained among the most high-functioning „conventional“ vessels in the world.
French Attack-class deal scrapped
Mr Morrison said he had informed French defence contractor Naval Group and President of France Emmanuel Macron of the decision to discontinue the Attack-class program in Adelaide.
„I want to stress that France remains an incredibly important partner in the Pacific,“ he said.
„We share a deep passion for our Pacific family and a deep commitment to them, and I look forward and I hope to see us continue once we move past what is obviously a very difficult and disappointing decision for France. I understand that. I respect it.
„But as a Prime Minister I must make decisions that are in Australia’s national security, and I know that France would do the same. And I know ultimately that will be understood.
„And we’ll be able to continue to work together for our many shared goals and aims because fundamentally we share the same values, we share the same vision.“
Mr Morrison has reassured workers involved with the junked Attack-class submarine program that they would still be needed.
„Your skills are in unprecedented demand because of the commitments the government has made to embark on the largest regeneration of the Royal Australian Navy since World War II,“ he said.
„We need you. We needed you. And we will still need you and we will continue to enlist you in this great national effort to ensure the skills that have been developed are kept with this great national enterprise.“
Australia’s Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty has hailed the announcement of AUKUS.
„I’m particularly looking forward to engaging with US and UK counterparts around the cutting-edge technologies, not just the nuclear-powered submarine, but the other opportunities that are made available to us through the AUKUS arrangement,“ he said.
„Quantum, AI, cyber, undersea capabilities that we will be able to look to in future.
„The sort of weapons systems that will continue to give the ADF a potent capability advantage in the decades ahead because the threat environment is changing.“
Chief of Defence General Angus Campbell also warned of what lies ahead.
„Our strategic environment has deteriorated,“ he said.
„Our key strategic documents speak of this. That challenging environment is becoming more challenging and is set to do so into the future at an accelerated pace.
„This decision is very welcome in terms of the development of the Australian Defence Force, for its structure and its forced posture.“
Mr Morrison said there was no need for a NATO-style treaty for Australia that would compel all signatories to aid one another if one came under attack.
„We are very pleased with the arrangements we have the United States and our many other partners in the region and, no, we are not pursuing those types of arrangements,“ he said.
„The ANZUS alliance and other partnerships and agreements we believe suit our security interests and have served us very well. AUKUS takes that to a whole new level.“
‚Increasingly complex‘ Indo-Pacific
Mr Morrison said Australia had engaged with China and other countries in the Indo-Pacific to discuss the new AUKUS alliance.
„I spoke to (India Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and (Japanese Prime Minister) Yoshihide Suga last night,“ he said.
„There’s an open invitation for (Chinese President Xi Jinping) to discuss other matters. That has always been there.
„Australia is open to discuss issues important to the Indo-Pacific.
„I believe and hope we share the same objective of a peaceful Indo-Pacific where the sovereignty and independence of nations is understood and respected and enables their citizens to flourish.“
Mr Morrison rebuffed suggestions the AUKUS alliance could be seen as a provocative move by the Chinese government.
„It is not an uncommon thing for countries to take decisions in their own strategic interests and build up their defence capabilities,“ he said.
„China makes the same decisions, as do other countries within our region.“
Earlier, as he confirmed the partnership in a joint virtual media conference with Mr Biden and Mr Johnson, Mr Morrison said AUKUS was a response to an increasingly „complex“ Indo-Pacific.
„This affects us all,“ he said.
„The future of the Indo-Pacific will impact all our futures.
„To meet these challenges, to help deliver the security and stability our region needs, we must now take our partnership to a new level.“
Mr Morrison did not directly mention the Chinese government in his comments.
„This will be one of the most complex and technically demanding projects in the world,“ Mr Johnson said.
„Lasting for decades and requiring the most advanced technology.“
Mr Johnson said Australia was a „kindred nation“ to the UK.
He said the decision to acquire nuclear submarines, which only a handful of countries possessed, was a „momentous decision“.
All three leaders hailed the strength of the Australia-US-UK alliance.
In the USA there seems to be bipartisan support and even Trump´s support for AUKUS and Biden´s China policy as a oped in The Washington Post thinks:
“Opinion: A new U.S. alliance responds to the Chinese threat — and U.S. military complacency
Today at 6:09 p.m. EDT
NEW! Gift this article to share free access
Add a new acronym, “AUKUS,” to the history of military alliances — this one standing for the new partnership of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States against the unnamed but very real potential threat from China.
President Biden unveiled the new pact Wednesday afternoon in a virtual joint statement with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The AUKUS plan has been taking shape in secret since Biden took office, but rollout now fits Biden’s aim of showing that the United States remains a strong military ally, despite the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Biden, flanked by video-screen images of the two prime ministers, said the goal of the initiative was to enhance “strategic stability” in the Indo-Pacific region and shape “how it may evolve.” He didn’t mention China, the obvious but unmentioned focus of the effort to share sensitive military technology with two key allies.
The short-term goal of the Indo-Pacific alliance is to help Australia over the next 18 months prepare to build a nuclear attack submarine, which will be a stealthy, undersea weapons-launching platform at a time when surface vessels are increasingly vulnerable to Chinese anti-ship missiles. An administration official said Australia may build up to a dozen such subs over the next two decades.
The deeper impact is that the three countries will cooperate, beyond the sub project, on a broad array of new military technologies, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, hypersonic missiles, cyberweapons and new undersea systems. This tripartite technology alliance could shake up the sometimes insular and slow-moving U.S. defense sector — as the Biden team hopes.
The AUKUS initiative should be an antidote to what sometimes seems an American addiction to legacy weapons systems, such as aircraft carriers and fighter jets, that will have diminishing effectiveness against China’s high-tech military. Last week, Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, complained in a session at the Brookings Institution that the Pentagon has been “unbelievably slow” with military modernization.
“We’re so bureaucratic, and we’re so risk averse,” Hyten warned. Defense analysts argue that this sluggishness results from the desire of the military services, defense contractors and members of Congress to protect existing systems and the jobs that go with them. Meanwhile, China is racing ahead with what Hyten told the Brookings audience is “unprecedented nuclear modernization,” along with new air, land, sea and space weapons systems.
The AUKUS plan for joint weapons development was welcomed by Christian Brose, former staff director for the Senate Armed Services Committee and a leading advocate of military modernization. “We need to think of this initiative as a common defense-industrial-technology base,” he said in an interview. “The only way we’re going to stay in this game is to move faster, in concert with our allies.” Brose is now chief strategy officer at Anduril Industries, a defense start-up.
The new alliance is meant to bolster allies in Asia, starting with Australia, that are facing intense pressure from a China that seeks regional dominance. As Australia has pushed back, Beijing has reacted with sharp economic reprisals and meddling in Australian politics. Australia pressed the White House, soon after Biden’s inauguration, “Don’t leave us alone in the field.” The Biden team, after consulting with Johnson, who touts a “global Britain,” moved ahead quickly.
Nuclear-powered submarines require sophisticated technologies that the United States has shared only with Britain, under a 1958 agreement. The U.S. Navy zealously guards these secrets and was initially reluctant to share them with another country.
Though the AUKUS alliance binds three English-speaking countries with Anglo-Saxon roots, the administration also plans to deepen its ties with the strategic partnership known as “the Quad,” which includes India and Japan as well as Australia and the United States. Leaders of the four countries will hold a summit meeting next week hosted by Biden.
Biden’s approach to China has had two faces, much like China’s own stance toward the West. On the conciliatory side, Biden called President Xi Jinping last Thursday to stress U.S. desire for cooperation with China in areas where their interests converge, such as climate change and halting nuclear proliferation. But the week after Biden’s outreach, he’s announcing a new military alliance aimed at deterring China’s growing power.
Unlike some of Biden’s efforts, this one is likely to have strong bipartisan support. Matt Pottinger, who served as deputy national security adviser for President Donald Trump, said in an interview: “These are strong signals that will help make more concrete the Biden administration’s promise to strengthen our deterrence in the western Pacific in the wake of the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
Biden has been saying since he entered the White House that “America is back.” That assertion seemed dubious after the pell-mell flight from Kabul, but it’s a little more coherent now with the new Asia defense moves.
The mouthpiece of the CP China the Global times seems helpless as it only repeats its old allegations of Cold war mentality, the danger of an arms race that will also encourage other “middle powers”, create instability and that Australia should think twice f it allies with the USA as it could be target of Chinese missiles, also if it wants to interfere in the Taiwan question:a
“AUKUS to bring ‘nuclear-powered submarine fever’ across globe: Global Times editorial
By Global Times Published: Sep 16, 2021 03:48 PM
US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison almost announced simultaneously on Wednesday that the three countries will form an enhanced trilateral security partnership called „AUKUS.“ This has been regarded as an effort of the US to build a new alliance against China. The pact will support Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines and enabling patrol of nuclear-powered submarines in the Indo-Pacific region.
The White House implied that the partnership is the first step that the US‘ European allies are turning to focus on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
The US is hysterically polarizing its alliance system. Using an external force to push „middle powers“ like Australia to the defense level of owning nuclear-powered submarines is a strong showcase to middle powers around the world. Although Washington claims that Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines will not carry nuclear weapons, such restrictions are not reliable. From the very beginning, nuclear-powered submarines are designed to be strategic striking tools.
If the US and the UK help Australia acquire the cruising capability of nuclear-powered submarines, this will effectively legalize the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines by all countries. This also means the legalization of international export of related technology. As Washington stirs up great power competition, more regions will be involved in rising tensions. Possessing nuclear-powered submarines will become a universal temptation. The world needs to prepare for the arrival of a „nuclear-powered submarine fever.“
Washington is losing its mind by trying to rally its allies against China, creating antagonism and destruction beyond its control. It has been immersed in attacking China without seriously assessing the possibility of backfiring. The war in Afghanistan, which traverses one of the most stable periods in the world as a whole, has embarrassed the US. If the world really becomes chaotic, there will be many more setbacks ahead for the US to fall down further.
There used to be no grudges between China and Australia. Due to the geographical distance, there are no geopolitical conflicts between the two countries as well. However, by pursuing a one-sided policy tilting toward the US in the China-US strategic game, Australia has turned itself into an adversary of China. It is now escalating its confrontation with China by conducting nuclear-powered submarine patrols that are clearly targeted at China.
However, no matter how Australia arms itself, it is still a running dog of the US. We advise Canberra not to think that it has the capability to intimidate China if it acquires nuclear-powered submarines and offensive missiles. If Australia dares to provoke China more blatantly because of that, or even find fault militarily, China will certainly punish it with no mercy.
As Australia participates in the US-led strategic siege of China, it should remain self-aware and take a position that matches its strength. If it acts with bravado to show its allegiance to the US and takes the most prominent position in the US‘ anti-China strategy, especially by being militarily assertive, then Canberra will most likely become a target of Beijing’s countermeasures so as to send a warning to others. Thus, Australian troops are also most likely to be the first batch of Western soldiers to waste their lives in the South China Sea.
Recently, some in Canberra proposed an Australian missile defense system. We believe this is necessary. Because Canberra is intended to send troops to the Taiwan Straits if a war breaks out there. Australian Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs Mike Pezzullo in April warned that „drums of war“ were beating in a message to his staff. He said that Australia must be prepared „to send off, yet again, our warriors to fight,“ according to ABC News. Once the Australian army fights the People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Straits or the South China Sea, military targets in Australia will inevitably become targets of Chinese missiles. Since Australia has become an anti-China spearhead, the country should prepare for the worst.
The US and its allies are messing up the world. They are even touching the bottom line of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Here comes an interesting question: Who is more capable of withstanding the global chaos? China or them?
As usual the Global Times ridicules the next Quad summit which would have no progress and was a weak, loose forum and not a defense pact. China also thinks that it can split the Quad, e.g. by lobbying the Australian parliament that China would propose to become member of the TPP successor Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The TPP was designed by Obama as an anti-Chinese economic bloc, but as Trump killed the TPP and Biden seems not to be willing to revive freetrade agreements and the TPP due to the economic nationalism in the USA, China now thinks that it can fill the US free trade gap after it already realized the Regional Comprhensive Economic Partnership (RCEP):
“Quad summit will see limited concrete outcomes as US, Japan, India, Australia are ‚four ward mates with different illnesses‘: experts
and Fan Anqi Published: Sep 15, 2021 12:18 AM
The US is reorganizing its allies and partners to fix its image as „the leader“ when it found increasing difficulties worldwide such as the Afghan issue, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Quad summit next week is another try made by US President Joe Biden, but Chinese experts said on Tuesday that the summit will make no big change on its hostility against China though the statement released by the White House about the summit didn’t mention China.
Biden will host the first-ever Quad Leaders Summit at the White House on September 24. „Biden is looking forward to welcoming to the White House Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan,“ according to the White House statement released on Monday.
The Quad Leaders will focus on deepening our ties and advancing practical cooperation on areas such as combating COVID-19, addressing the climate crisis, partnering on emerging technologies and cyberspace, and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific, the statement said.
The Quad leaders also had a virtual meeting in March, and the summit scheduled to be held next week is in-person.
Lü Xiang, an expert on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday that „the summit is just another show with limited concrete outcomes. The US, Japan, India and Australia are just like four wardmates with different illnesses but stay in the same ward.“
„These four countries share topics for discussions but they have different stances. The US hasty pullout from Afghanistan caused huge loss to India; Australia refused to make promise on coal mining for the climate change issue; Japan is now facing a chaotic political situation, and being unwisely provocative toward China due to Taiwan question,“ so the US is hard to make them perfectly reorganized, Lü said.
Suga’s term as the leader of the ruling party of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party – and by default Japanese prime minister – ends on September 30. He has said he would not run in the next election for party leader. So to what extent Biden could reach sustainable agreements with Suga is a question.
India suffered from great loss in Afghanistan, since the return of the Taliban make India’s huge inputs to the former US-formed government produce no outcomes at all, but New Delhi swallowed the bitter consequence without complaint to the US, said Lin Minwang, a professor at the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University.
„Because India has decided to lean to the US side, the US can still coordinate with India even after its irresponsible decision in Afghanistan that made New Delhi pay a heavy price, Lin noted.
Although the China-Australia ties are still intense, according to Reuters, China has lobbied the Australian parliament to help it join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Center at East China Normal University in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Tuesday that it’s possible that Australia would provide some supports to China in joining CPTPP in exchange for China to reopen its market to Australian products, especially before the election next year, fixing trade ties with China would be a major political achievement for the ruling party of Australia.
Chen noted that the Quad won’t change its hostility toward China but if Australia has wisdom and intention to fix ties with China, it’s likely to see the both sides use the CPTPP issue as a chance to ease tension.
After the phone call between Chinese and US leaders on Friday, the international community is expecting the two biggest economies of the world to ease tension but it seems like the US is unlikely to change its hostile attitude toward China immediately, and the summit next week could be a chance for Biden to unify its allies on attitude to China in the next stage, to balance competition and cooperation, said experts.
Biden is expected to call for a summit on boosting the global supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, according to US news outlets. The summit will be held during the UN General Assembly later this month, the VOA reported.
The Washington Post reports the topics will include coordination among world leaders to collectively tackle the health crisis and address inequities, including the slow rate of vaccinations in the developing world.
However, the Global Times also critizises Japan as it stenghtens I ties with the USA, the Quad, SOA states, especially Vietnam, has changed its pacifist post- war constitution, even the first time mentioning the defense of Taiwan and performing drills:
“Japan’s massive drills intend to challenge China’s sovereignty militarily
PLA can deal with US-Japan alliance in conflicts over Taiwan, Diaoyu Islands
Published: Sep 15, 2021 11:08 PM
The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) on Wednesday started nationwide exercises involving all units for the first time in nearly 30 years in an attempt to boost deterrence and strengthen its capabilities. Japanese media said such a massive move is to deal with „China’s ramped-up regional assertiveness.“ But Chinese experts noted that Japan is trying to display its hard power to serve the US Indo-Pacific strategy to contain China militarily.
But Chinese military experts warned that Japan does not have the ability to deter China in a military conflict over China’s territories like the Diaoyu Islands and the island of Taiwan, and a military conflict with China will bring destructive consequences to the country.
Right-wing political forces in Japan have been lying to the Japanese public about the essence of the Diaoyu Islands issue and Taiwan question. Now the Japanese public holds unreasonable hostility and bias against China, and this is why the massive drills targeting China could win support for Japanese politicians. But to what extent Japan would intervene militarily, the US has the final say, analysts said, adding that China is prepared for the worst-case scenario – the US and its allies, including Japan, launch an all-out military intervention to interrupt China’s national reunification.
The JGSDF Exercise ’21, scheduled from Wednesday to the second half of November, was organized to strengthen the JGSDF’s deterrence and response capabilities by ensuring JGSDF’s readiness towards threats to Japan, the JGSDF said in press releases last week.
As the largest exercise since 1993 that all units of JGSDF participate in, the exercise focuses on preparation as a basis for various operational movements and consists of five training courses, namely, deployment preparation, deployment training, mobilization training, logistics and medical training and system communication training, the releases said.
The JGSDF last conducted exercises of this scale in 1993 after the Cold War ended. Around 100,000 personnel, 20,000 vehicles and 120 aircraft will join the drills, which will also involve Japan’s Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces as well as a US Army landing ship.
A total of 12,000 personnel and 3,900 vehicles from two GSDF divisions based in Hokkaido and in the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan, as well as a brigade in western Japan’s Shikoku region, will start an expeditionary mission to the Kyushu region in southwestern Japan next week.
The troops will carry defense equipment during the mission, including tanks, to several training grounds in Kyushu by land and sea. Private trucks, ferries and railways will also be used in the exercise.
The training subjects indicate that one of the main objectives of the drill is to mobilize a large number of troops and equipment from across Japan to the country’s southwestern region, where is closest to the Diaoyu Islands and China’s island of Taiwan, observers said.
While the combat aspects of the exercise have yet to be revealed, the mobilization aspects seem to be the key focus, as Japan is practicing transporting its main forces including heavy equipment like tanks by land and through maritime transportation methods, both military and civilian. That also includes US support, a Chinese military expert who asked for anonymity told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Amphibious landing and island seizure must be part of the exercise, the expert predicted.
Liu Jiangyong, vice dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Wednesday that such massive drills were arranged during the term of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, adding that the drills with the Quad countries and other Western countries recently serve the goal of „showcasing Japan’s hard power and loyalty to the US Indo-Pacific strategy.“
While the JGSDF is the main force in the exercise, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, the US Army in Japan and civilian transport units will also join the drill, according to the releases.
To respond to attacks on the islands, transportation capacity that enables quick and large-scale deployment is the key, Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi was quoted by the Yomiuri Shimbun as saying at a press conference on the exercise on Friday.
The exercise would last about two months, which means Japan is looking to finish large-scale nationwide troops mobilization to the location where it deems a military conflict could break out with China within that time frame, the anonymous expert said.
China can closely monitor the development and progress of the Japanese exercise and get to know how the Japan Self-Defense Force conducts this mobilization, the expert said, noting that if this happens again, this could be a sign that Japan is preparing for war and the PLA should stay vigilant.
Taiwan and Diaoyu Islands
Many media reports from Japan, the US and the island of Taiwan said that the Japanese drill is aimed at China over the Diaoyu Islands and the island of Taiwan.
„Kishi has deep connections with the Taiwan separatist authorities, and he called for a security dialogue between Japan, the US and the DPP separatist authorities, and he is also Abe’s brother. So it’s not surprising that this kind of Japanese politician will try to use the Taiwan question to add tensions to China-Japan ties,“ Liu noted.
Japan’s exercise will hone its troops‘ combat capabilities at a time when Japan is facing an election, and when Japanese right-wing forces and the US are instigating a continued, strong stance on China over the Diaoyu Islands and the island of Taiwan regardless of the election result, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Japan is also hyping the so-called China threat theory so it can have an excuse to break the limit of its pacifist constitution, Song said.
While the scale of the exercise seems to be large, Japan’s military strength is far below that of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in almost all aspects, the anonymous military expert said.
If a military conflict breaks out over the Diaoyu Islands, or if Japan interferes in the Taiwan question militarily, the Japan Self-Defense Forces will have no chance to win, either on the ground, in the air or at sea, the anonymous expert said, noting that military bases from which Japan sends troops would also be destroyed.
However, in such scenarios, Japan will unlikely confront China alone, as the US will very likely interfere as well, since the US-Japan alliance should be viewed as a whole, Song said.
From this perspective, the Japanese exercise could also be a part of a bigger picture involving the US military, observers said, noting that the US troops stationed in Japan is also part of the drill.
Japan held joint military exercises with countries like the US, Australia, the UK and India in the past month, and hosted maritime replenishment for a US Coast Guard ship in the East China Sea in late August.
China is paying close attention to the situation, and the PLA is holding intensive exercises to boost combat capabilities in realistic scenarios with the most complex situations, Song said.
Even if the PLA has to face the most powerful enemies, it is capable of and confident in safeguarding China’s national sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests, experts said.
Liu said letting Japan conduct exercises also shows that the US, after its failed mission in Afghanistan, wants its allies to do more when it’s suffering from the mess, and the Afghan issue proves that the military intervention launched by the US, NATO and other US allies can’t even win a war against the Afghan Taliban. So when they try to contain major powers like China and Russia, they knew how tough the mission would be.
The strengthening of relations with Vietnam by the USA and Japan are also seen as an unfriendly act against China:
“Japan seeks to ease military restriction through defense transfer deal with Vietnam: experts
By GT staff reporters Published: Sep 12, 2021 10:00 PM
Japan and Vietnam signed on Saturday an agreement on the transfer of defense equipment and technology, a move that foreign media claimed targets China.
Experts said Tokyo’s military cooperation with Hanoi aims at expanding its influence in regional security issues and the equipment exports are an effort to ease Japan’s military limit.
The agreement was reached at a Saturday meeting between Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and his Vietnamese counterpart Phan Van Giang in Hanoi, which coincided with the two-day visit of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Vietnam, starting from Friday.
Japan and Vietnam will work out details about the transfer of specific equipment, including naval vessels, in subsequent talks, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry.
Kishi said in an online press conference following the meeting that Japan will accelerate talks with Vietnam to sell Self-Defense Force vessels, reported Japan’s Kyodo News.
Japan’s transfer deal of defense equipment and technology to Vietnam not only intends to substantially improve defense cooperation between the two countries, but also is a new move by Japan to increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific over regional security issues, taking Southeast Asia as the top priority, Zhang Yong, secretary general of the Center for China-Japan Relations at the Institute of Japanese Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday. „Japan seeks to expand its voice and influence in the region by raising its relations with Vietnam to a new stage with strengthened military links,“ Zhang haishi said.
He noted that the export of its self-made defense equipment, in essence, is Japan’s latest attempt to get rid of its military restrictions and follows an old path of Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that sought to boost Japan’s military role overseas.
Kyodo News said the Japan-Vietnam deal is aimed at China’s „rising assertiveness in regional waters.“
Chinese observers said that Japan’s move is clearly aimed at China, given a series of provocative actions the country has made targeting China recently, including conducting military exercises against China with countries in and outside of the Indo-Pacific region and provoking China on the Taiwan question.
Some Japanese politicians have been stepping on China’s red line by making Taiwan-related comments that suggest Japan should help the island against the Chinese mainland. The latest was a remark by Japan’s deputy minister for defense Yasuhide Nakayama on Wednesday that further links an attack on the island of Taiwan to Japan’s own national security, reported the Newsweek.
Zhang said Japan has been acting increasingly defensively toward China as the US intensified its efforts to draw Japan over to its side and continued to strengthen their alliance.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Vietnam on Friday as the first stop in his trip to Southeast Asia, during which he met with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and other senior officials.
During the meetings, Wang emphasized that China and Vietnam must abide by the political consensus already reached over the South China Sea issue and avoid any unilateral action that may complicate the situation and escalate disputes.
Zhuang Guotu, head of Xiamen University’s Southeast Asian Studies Center, reminded Vietnam to be vigilant against interference and provocation by Japan and other forces outside the region.
„China will not allow outside forces to provoke or force China to compromise on security and other core issues,“ he told the Global Times on Sunday.
China also claims that the Chinese submarine threat aired by Japan was just a mirage to propel a new Japanese militarism.
“Japan hypes suspected Chinese submarine activity ‚in attempt to break pacifist constitution‘
The Japanese Defense Ministry on Sunday made a publicity stunt by hyping the recent activities of a submarine, it speculates is from China, close to Japanese territorial waters.
In doing so, Japan has ulterior motives and is again creating a „China threat“ so it can have more excuses to break its pacifist constitution, Chinese military observers said on Sunday.
Japan detected a submarine off a southern Japanese island heading west in the East China Sea on Sunday, AP reported.
The Japan Ministry of Defense claims it believes the submarine is Chinese because a Chinese Type 052D guided missile destroyer was near the submarine, AP reported, noting that neither the submarine nor the ship entered Japanese territorial waters.
The event heightened Japan’s caution levels in the East China Sea as China increases its military activities, according to AP’s report.
China has not announced any related military activities in the area yet, as some Chinese observers question the Japanese speculation since it failed to show evidence of the nationality of the alleged submarine.
According to international law, ships and submarines can sail freely in international waters. Therefore, there would be no problem even if Chinese ships did navigate outside of Japanese territorial waters, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Japan hyped the suspected Chinese naval activity because it wants to create more „China threats“ so it can have more excuses to revise its pacifist constitution, Song said.
Japan has been reporting intensive activities by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) over the past few weeks, including transits of PLA warship flotillas in the Miyako Strait, Tsushima Strait and Soya Strait, all of which are international waters.
Japan’s latest defense white paper released in July mentioned for the first time the stability of the island of Taiwan and again hyped the situation of the Diaoyu Islands. Both the island of Taiwan and the Diaoyu Islands are Chinese territories.
Japan and Vietnam signed a defense transfer deal on Saturday targeting China in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, according to a report from AP on Sunday.
On the topic of China’s recent naval activities near Japan, Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times last week that the moves will help safeguard peace and stability in the region by deterring Japanese right-wing forces. However, in the meantime, China does not need to worry about Japan too much to an extent it reacts to every Japanese provocation militarily since Japanese authorities have their own agenda, like the election, Xu mentioned, adding that the PLA is developing at its own pace.
However, the modernization of the Asian armies, the assertive behaviour of China and its buildup of a offensive military prompts stronger Asian reactions than China thought would occur after its triumphant horrays about American withdrawal and the decline of the West and the USA.However, AUKUS and Quad seem to be the core of the Anglosaxon anti-China front. Europe will be perceived as auxillary forces who won´t have any decisive say in this conflict. Especially not Germa ny. But China even reacts angry about the halfhearted and moderate German and EU Indo-Pacific strategy and the deployment of the Germn frigate Bavaria (Bayern) in Asia:
At the beginning of August the frigate „Bayern“ set sail for Asia. A stop in China was also planned. But Beijing has something against it. The naval ship „Bavaria“ is scheduled to be on the move for six months, and the training ship is currently in the Indo-Pacific. A visit by the frigate »Bavaria« to China planned by the federal government failed because of opposition from Beijing. „After a certain period of reflection, China decided that it would not want the German frigate“ Bayern „to visit the port, and we have taken note of that,“ said a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office in Berlin on Wednesday. The frigate set out for the Indo-Pacific from Wilhelmshaven on August 2. The German government announced in April that it would intensify its security policy engagement in Asia and, above all, coordinate more closely with Japan. However, the goals declared by the Ministry of Defense – „a rule-based order, free sea routes, multilateralism“ – should be combined with a friendly gesture in the direction of China on the now canceled port visit. There is still no statement from China on the matter. The Defense and Foreign Ministries did not respond to a request from Reuters news agency on Wednesday evening in Beijing.