Another grouping: On AUKUS – The Hindu

(This column first appeared in The Hindu on September 24, 2021)

  • In its first reaction to AUKUS, the new partnership between Australia, the U.S. and the U.K., India has made it clear that it does not welcome the announcement, nor does it wish to link AUKUS to Indian interests. Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla said that AUKUS, which was launched a week before the first in-person summit of leaders of the Australia-India-Japan-U.S. Quadrilateral, will not affect plans to strengthen the Quad. He called them two very different groupings, describing AUKUS as a security alliance, and indicating that security is not the Quad’s main focus. Brushing aside criticism from China and Iran on the plans within the partnership for the U.S. and the U.K. to develop nuclear-propelled submarines for Australia, he said that India does not see AUKUS as nuclear proliferation. But New Delhi has noticed the protests from others, especially France, that has lost a lucrative submarine deal in the bargain, prompting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to reach out to their French counterparts…

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