Published: 16:14, October 24, 2021 | Updated: 16:14, October 24, 2021
AUKUS spurs arms race, puts to test Aussie pledge of nuclear non-proliferation
By Khalid Taimur Akram

The AUKUS scheme is another clear manifestation of the US-led allies’ continuous hypocrisy and rivalry against rising China.

Since the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia signed the pact in September, the hands in glove of Anglo-Saxon hegemonic heritage have kept rattling world stability and order. The group is facilitating Australia to develop nuclear-powered submarines, and the US and the UK will exclusively provide the technical assistance and expertise to Australia for enhancing nuclear submarine capacity.  The US is sharing its submarine technology for the first time in 50 years after with the UK only. 

As Australia faces no major defense perils from the Pacific nations surrounding, the new grouping’s move apparently aims at Chinese presence in the Asia Pacific. The AUKUS boldness not only exposes the continued ultra-nationalist efforts by some Western countries, especially America in the tough time of the pandemic, but also makes it apparent that the US has not shed the notion of traditional warfare and still looming with the Cold War mentality. 

The AUKUS controversy illustrates that even the closest partners of this tight Anglo-Saxon clique can become enemies when time comes and commercial concerns are there. After all, the French defence industry would have gained a profitable deal if the Australians had gone ahead with it. 

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Obviously, the UK and USA have had other vicious motives, as their own military-industrial complex will surely benefit from manufacturing subs for Australia. 

Since the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia signed the pact in September, the hands in glove of Anglo-Saxon hegemonic heritage have kept rattling world stability and order

However, the more troubling reality emerging from this conspiracy is the deployment of nuclear vessels in the eastern Pacific. It appears that in their desire to hem in China or regional peace, the US and allies are prepared to open up a new front in the oceans. Though Australia has affirmed that it has no intention to acquire nuclear weapons, the potential for nuke-tech transfer looms especially when politicians of these three countries have turned against previous pledges.

Worse, through the trilateral defense pact, AUKUS may result in catalyst for a nuclear arms race and put huge repercussions on regional peace and stability. In this regard, the international community, including neighboring countries, has risen to question Australia’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation.

For years, the US and some of its close allies such as Australia have exploited disinformation campaigns against China, from a ban of Huawei’s 5G telecom facilities, COVID-19 virus and vaccine conspiracies, to boycott of cotton from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of China, and further to G7 belligerence to counter the Belt & Road Initiative in the form of infrastructure financing mechanism. 

In the COVID-19 pandemic, where countries are aspiring to tackle this non-traditional security challenge, assist each other with maximum vaccinations, curtail humanitarian crisis, and eradicate other common issues, the US has been indulged in offensive means to sabotage Chinese inclusive economic development projects and its strong global outreach.  

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The West, especially the US, must shed the obsolete Cold War mentality that threatens regional stability and peace. It has been unveiled to the world that the US is trying to pursue its vicious agendas via coercive actions and negative rhetoric. However, it would be lifting a rock only to drop it on one's own feet because such political maneuvers cannot impact China's irresistible and irreversible global outreach.

China has become a major power through its policies of peace, stability, and integrating nations. From inclusive economic development projects such as BRI to vaccine assistance to the developing world, China has outmaneuvered its rivals at every front. The greater connectivity of countries for socio-economic development under the ambit of BRI clearly shows trust and confidence in the Chinese government. 

With China’s example of peaceful rise, more and more countries have adopted prudent and effective strategies to modernize and diversify their economies under China’s grand vision of shared prosperity. The result-oriented efficacious strategies by the visionary Chinese leadership have ultimately proved to be a milestone development for amicably resolving the common challenges.  

China has this narrative that development is the right of all countries, rather than the exclusive privilege of the few. Thereby, it is committed to pursuing development for both China and the world and bringing benefits to all. 

As the world's largest developing country, China contributes to humanity by maintaining long-term stable development

As the world's largest developing country, China contributes to humanity by maintaining long-term stable development. China's innovative achievements in science and technology have brought greater convenience to work and daily life worldwide, and injected new impetus into international technological innovation and global economic growth. 

READ MORE: AUKUS move could backfire

Undoubtedly, China’s voices for the developing world, and projects or alternatives for shared prosperity have won less favor from old and current hegemonic powers. There instead emerge from the US and close allies the belligerent narratives like rivalry or strategic competition typical of baseless accusations, usually in the style of US falsified allegations of Iraq’s development of weapons of massive destruction. 

Instead of flexing its military muscle, the Western bloc needs to engage China at the negotiating table because once sparked an arms race will be difficult to contain. 

There are many prolonged challenges in the world. In this regard, there is a stark need for wider integration, not rivalries or fierce competition. Therefore, the AUKUS group and other Western powers need to stop projecting hostile projects, rhetoric, and propaganda against China and revisit their ideas in order to integrate nations for regional stability worldwide. 

The author is Executive Director of Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad.