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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. The new tri-nation partnership AUKUS is aimed at countering China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region. Is it going to supersede the existing partnerships in the region? Discuss the strength and impact of AUKUS in the present scenario.

    26 Apr, 2022 GS Paper 2 International Relations


    • Introduce the answer with explaining AUKUS.
    • Discuss if it can supersede the existing partnerships in the Indo-pacific region.
    • Discuss the strength and impact of AUKUS in the present scenario.
    • Conclude suitably.


    AUKUS is a trilateral security partnership between the United States of America, Australia and the United Kingdom in the Indo-Pacific region. Under the AUKUS alliance, the UK, the US and Australia seek to increase the development of joint capabilities and technology sharing.


    Creation of the AUKUS is an attempt to send a stronger message to China as it will give its members a credible deterrence powers towards China by deepening military capabilities. It will also enhance the patrolling and surveillance power of the members in Indo-Pacific, thus restoring the sanctity of norms and rules-based order in the region. By providing nuclear submarines to Australia, it will enhance its
    capabilities to project power in the Indo-Pacific.

    However, critics allege that AUKUS is also likely to supersede the existing partnership in the region. For example, the Quadrilateral Dialogue (QUAD) comprising India, Japan, Australia and the US may get lesser importance as the US might be obliged to share its strength and competence to AUKUS and QUAD both. AUKUS may also weaken the Five Eyes alliance group and the ASEAN centrality in the region.

    On the stronger side, the focus of AUKUS will be on integrating all defence and security-related science, supply chains, industrial bases, and technology. The partnership would also involve a new architecture of meetings and engagements between the three countries and cooperation across emerging technologies like AI, quantum technologies, and undersea capabilities.

    With respect to India, AUKUS may instigate a nuclear/conventional arms race in the Indo-Pacific region. It may lead to China and Russia supplying sensitive defence technologies to other states. With its exclusionary vision, AUKUS may also run contrary to India’s vision of an inclusive Indo-Pacific. AUKUS was formulated ignoring France, which may increase trust deficit between the like-minded democratic countries on other matters of global importance.


    Thus, though AUKUS offers the advantage of balance of power, strategic autonomy, and a check on Chinese aggression, it also has significant challenges as it has been termed as Indo-Pacific NATO. India’s diverse relationships with the West must be deployed in full measure to prevent a split in the IndoPacific coalition.

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