Quad tent just got bigger with AUKUS. China’s aggressive behaviour will be under watch: Rajesh Rajagopalan

(Rajesh Rajagopalan is a professor in International Politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. This column first appeared in The Print on September 20, 2021)

  • The latest trilateral arrangement in the Indo-Pacific – the Australia-United Kingdom-United States or AUKUS – is good news for both the Indo-Pacific and India. The Joe Biden administration, in quite a dramatic fashion, has put to rest any lingering questions about the United States’ willingness to play a global role. These questions were always somewhat unwarranted because there was little doubt that Washington would respond to the challenge posed by China in the Indo-Pacific. Despite many ideological differences, Biden had already doubled down on some key aspects of the Donald Trump administration’s foreign policy on competing with China. Nevertheless, Biden’s badly mismanaged troops withdrawal from Afghanistan also raised concerns about the US’ staying power and dependability. The AUKUS initiative, coming barely two weeks after the withdrawal, is further testament to the US’ commitment to its global role. Indeed, in retrospect, the withdrawal itself appears to be a planned refocus, disengaging from a fruitless fight that was sapping US strength so that it could redirect American attention to the much more important task of countering China…

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