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Olga Leonova1
  • 1 Lomonosov Moscow State University, 13/14, Leninskie gory, Moscow 119992, Russia

The Impact of the Strategic Partnership AUKUSon the Geopolitical Situation in the Indo-PacificRegion

2022. Vol. 17. No. 3. P. 194–211 [issue contents]

The purpose of the AUKUS strategic alliance is to develop cooperation between the member countries (U.S., UK and Australia) in the field of security and defence in the Indo-Pacific region. The agreement provides for the supply of submarines powered by nuclear reactors to Australia. The emergence of this new strategic alliance was caused by the following factors: the increased power of China in the region; the weakening of the U.S. position in the Indo-Pacific; the desire of the UK to implement the “global Britain” strategy in practice; and the need for the U.S. to have reliable allies to contain China. These factors reveal the true purpose of AUKUS—containment of China and opposition to its active policy in the region.

In this article, the author uses comparative analysis to reveal the different goals and geopolitical interests of the AUKUS countries. The systematic approach helps to describe the essence of the complex developing geopolitical system of the Indo-Pacific region.The theories of new institutionalism and constructivism make it possible to identify both continuity and gaps in the security policy and foreign policy of regional actors.

Australia’s participation in the AUKUS allows it to: strengthen its political ties with influential partners—the United States and Great Britain; receive additional security guarantees from them in the context of increased activity of Chinese policy in the region; raise the country’s status in the regional hierarchy; and strengthen its defence capability. Australia’s entry into the AUKUS means the formation of a new, anti-Chinese strategy in the region.

For the UK, membership in the AUKUS allows it to: expand its naval presence in the Indo-Pacific region; strengthen its special relations with the United States; improve its image, which was shaken after the country’s exit from the EU; and restore traditional ties with Australia.

For the United States, AUKUS is the implementation of the strategy of “pivot” to Asia and the creation of a new alliance that has greater opportunities for military-strategic cooperation in the face of the threat from China to use the Pacific Ocean to oust the United States from a leading position.

There are some possible geopolitical consequences of creating AUKUS for the region. They are escalation of tension and the nuclear arms race of the opposing parties; a new cold war with China; expansion of the club of nuclear powers because of Australia; imbalance of geopolitical forces in the region; undermining transatlantic unity; and a common strategy in the foreign policy of European countries and the United States.

Citation: Leonova O. (2022) The Impact of the Strategic Partnership AUKUSon the Geopolitical Situation in the Indo-PacificRegion. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 17, no 3, pp. 194-211 (in English).
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