Former President Barack Obama had declared that the U.S. would focus on the Asia-Pacific, and even branded himself as “America’s first Pacific President.” Proclaiming the 21st century as the “Pacific Century,” he also utilized the Obama Foundation, which he formed post-presidency for the “Pacific Project.” And now, Obama’s former VP Joe Biden is completely focused on the Pacifics now that he’s president. Everything in the minds of the American political elite revolves around China now. Biden’s Pacific policy is about besieging the U.S.’s global rival, China.
One of the first things Biden did as president was to revive the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), which was initiated in previous terms with India, Australia, and Japan. The virtual QUAD Meet in March, which highly perturbed Beijing, has been interpreted by strategists as the harbinger of an “Asian NATO.” Furthermore, the White House announced that Joe Biden would host leaders of QUAD member countries, India, Australia, and Japan, on September 24 in Washington.
Another critical development has taken place in anticipation of the Sept. 24 QUAD Summit. Last Wednesday, during an online press conference at the White House that was also attended by the leaders of the U.K. and Australia, Biden announced the establishment of a whole new security pact among these three allies. What’s most conspicuous about the deal that has been nicely wrapped up with a pretty bow as “AUKUS” is that the U.S. and U.K. will commission nuclear-powered super submarines for Australia. While the deal raised eyebrows in China, France, for its part, flew into a temper tantrum. Because Australia had previously signed a deal with Paris in 2016 for 12 diesel-powered electric submarines. Needless to say, this 50-billion-dollar contract has bitten the dust with AUKUS.
Summoning its ambassadors from the U.S. and Australia, France has branded this incident as a “stab in the back.” France and the EU perceive the AUKUS deal as a deep wound inflicted on the Atlantic Alliance. Thus, the security pact has gone off like a bomb as the EU prepares to declare its strategic document on the Indo-Pacific to the world. The bloc is worried that Trump’s policy to keep Europe on the sidelines is now on a loop. This development once again brought up self-armament options in Europe, whose defense is dependent on the United States. On the other hand, the EU is vexed that it wasn’t informed about AUKUS beforehand. Remember, America was also accused of not coordinating with its European allies of the military coalition before pulling troops from Afghanistan.
The U.S.’s actions are hence giving the impression that it wants to keep the European Union on the sidelines in the Indo-Pacific. The U.K., on the other hand, after breaking off from Europe with Brexit, seems to be vying to reclaim its role as “Global Britain.” Nigel Farage, former leader of the “Brexit Party,” who played an important role in Britain’s exit from the EU, is quite pleased with the AUKUS agreement. Farage, in his Newsweek article titled “The Anglosphere Responds to the Threat of China” dated September 17, emphasized that China has more than tripled its naval power capacity in the last 20 years. Insinuating that the rapid growth of the German Navy before 1914 brought upon World War I, Farage suggests that China also poses a similar threat for the future.
For Farage, who is known for his anti-EU political stance, AUKUS symbolizes the most important agreement of the 21st century between states that speak the same language, share a common cultural heritage, and see the Chinese threat as it is (Anglosphere). Expressing his hopes that China would correctly interpret AUKUS, Farage concluded his article by stating that “Anglosphere” was re-aligned to “protect liberty and freedom” in the world. It should also be noted that Nigel Farage, the so-called anti-globalist Trump’s most loyal friend in Britain, met with the globalist and liberal Biden.
A notable analysis regarding the agreement came from none other than Malaysian President Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob: he stated that AUKUS would trigger a nuclear armament race in the region. Noting that AUKUS will encourage other powers in the region to take aggressive actions in the South China Sea, bin Yakoob argues that Pacific waters should remain a zone of peace, freedom, and neutrality.