On September 15, the United States took concrete steps to shift its security and defense focus to the Indo-Pacific region by announcing a new “enhanced trilateral security partnership” with the United Kingdom and Australia. The initial focus of the so-called AUKUS alliance is an agreement to share nuclear-powered submarine technology with Australia. The announcement sparked an immediate reaction in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region. Most notably, securing nuclear-powered submarines prompted Australia to cancel an agreement with France for diesel-powered submarines, and France reacted furiously, recalling its ambassadors from both the United States and Australia. Although the announcement of the alliance made no direct mention of China, the inference that it addresses Chinese power in the region is unavoidable, and China warned that the alliance, and particularly the submarine agreement, could accelerate an arms race.

Kristen Eichensehr, The United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom Announce “AUKUS” Alliance Focused on Indo-Pacific Security, 116 American Journal of International Law, 164–170 (2022).
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