The US, the UK, and Australia have reached a new defense pact named “Aukus”, which will allow Australia to receive nuclear-powered submarine technology. The pact has been widely regarded as a means to counter Beijing’s activities in the Indo-Pacific. China has condemned it as a product of “Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice.”
The Aukus pact, which entailed the cancellation of a $40 billion submarine deal between Australia and France, was followed by the release of a brand-new EU strategy for the Indo-Pacific. In addition, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the launch of “Global Gateway” – a plan to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Reportedly, Chinese President Xi Jinping did not take up US President Joe Biden on an offer to hold an in-person bilateral meeting. The Biden Administration, however, claims that Xi did not reject the offer and that portrayals of the two leaders’ call last week are inaccurate.
Japan kicked off its largest military drills in nearly 30 years. The exercises will involve all units of Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force and last until the end of November. Chinese state media reacted by brushing off Japan’s ability to defend itself against China.
Starting today, India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will undertake a three-week campaign to celebrate the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his 20 years in public office. Ahead of a key state election in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is trying to reverse Modi’s dip in popularity – a result of the government’s perceived mismanagement of the pandemic.