AUKUS, a trilateral alliance of Australia, UK, and the US, has stirred up a debate over nuclear proliferation, as Canberra will obtain atomic-powered submarines under the deal. China has criticised the trilateral partnership as “extremely irresponsible”, saying it would “seriously undermine regional peace and stability and intensify the arms race”.
Sputnik spoke with Captain DK Sharma, VSM, a spokesperson for the Indian Navy, who retired in from the service in August 2019, about a range of issues related to AUKUS and its impact on India.
Sputnik: In your view, will AUKUS fuel tensions in the Pacific and other regions?
Captain DK Sharma: I do not think so… AUKUS has a purpose, firstly, to increase the military capabilities of a nation i.e. Australia. Australia said that it will now buy weapons which will have more lethality. They have made it clear that there is a threat from China.
If China is trying to flex its muscles and is putting pressure on smaller or less developed countries or less powerful nations in the region, the answer to it is you should have military alliances, and AUKUS is one of them. Australia is also a part of a military alliance with Japan, India, and the US, which is called Quad.
The reason for forming AUKUS is very clear. The US and UK are going to extend their technologies, including nuclear-powered submarines, to Australia. They have still not said whether they will give the weapons but the SSN is going to be the answer to Chinese SSNs/SSBNs that are roaming around the Indo-Pacific. China has 18 nuclear-powered submarines, 14 of which are believed to be operational.