AUKUS: US rules out adding India or Japan to security alliance with Australia and UK | World News
“The announcement of AUKUS last week was not meant to be an indication, and I think this is the message the President also sent to (French President Emmanuel) Macron, that there is no one else who will be involved in security in the Indo-Pacific,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference on Wednesday.
PM Modi in US live updates
Psaki was responding to a question if countries like India and Japan whose leaders would be in Washington this week for the first in-person Quad Summit would be made part of the new security alliance.
“On Friday… you’ll have the Australians there (for the Quad summit). But then you also have India and Japan. Would you envision for them a similar kind of military role that you’ve now defined for with the Australians?” a journalist asked.
“AUKUS? What would it become? JAUKUS? JAIAUKUS?” Psaki said in lighter moments before giving answer to the question.
On September 15, the United States, responding to growing rivalry from China, announced a new alliance with Australia and Britain to strengthen naval capabilities in the Indo-Pacific with a new Australian nuclear submarine fleet.
The announcement — made in a video meeting by President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his British counterpart Boris Johnson — was sure to infuriate France, which has been negotiating a multi-billion-dollar sale of conventional submarines to Australia.
The trilateral security alliance AUKUS, seen as an effort to counter China in the Indo-Pacific, will allow the US and the UK to provide Australia with the technology to develop nuclear-powered submarines for the first time.
China has sharply criticised the trilateral alliance, saying such exclusive grouping has no future and will gravely undermine regional stability and aggravate the arms race and hurt international non-proliferation efforts.
AUKUS a security alliance, not relevant to Quad: India
The Indian government has sought to allay concerns about possible dilution of Quad’s agenda by the US pact with UK and Australia, AUKUS, saying that the latter was a security alliance which was not relevant to Quad
“Quad and AUKUS are not groupings of similar nature. Quad countries share the vision of a free, open, transparent and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. Quad has adopted a wide array of initiatives globally on issues like the pandemic, new and emerging technologies and climate change. AUKUS is a security alliance involving three countries. We are not party to it. From our perspective, it is neither relevant to Quad nor will it have any impact on Quad’s functioning,” foreign secretary Harsh Shringla had said while talking about PM Modi’s agenda during the US visit.
Quad nations aim to tighten links
The four-nation group will look for ways to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region and act as a bulwark against any Chinese expansionism. Beijing has laid claim to around 90% of the South China Sea and built military facilities on artificial islands and the Quad nations are concerned these could be used to restrict free movement through the important trade route.
The four nations are also trying to forge a consensus on 5G telecommunications network, data security and free flow of information. They have held discussions on building supply chains for certain critical minerals and technologies, another area they have been at odds with China.
The leaders are expected to agree to take steps to build secure semiconductor supply chains, the Nikkei business daily reported, citing a draft of the joint statement. They will each ascertain their semiconductor supply capacities and identify vulnerability, the newspaper said.
(With inputs from agencies)