US-UK-Australia: How the AUKUS alliance is keeping China at bay

China accuses the United States of what it calls a serious violation of its sovereignty over the appearance of a US Navy ship in the South China Sea. Beijing is also unhappy with the expansion of the trilateral defense pact of the AUKUS alliance, which includes the US, Great Britain and Australia. The participants are considering the possibility of increasing the number of submarines in the Indo-Pacific region, FREEDOM informs.

An American warship entered the disputed waters of the South China Sea while conducting naval operations. China perceived this gesture as an aggressive violation of the sovereignty of the People’s Republic of China.

The Chinese Air Force said in a statement that the presence of the US littoral combat ship undermines regional peace and stability. Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard said it had observed more than 135 Chinese maritime police vessels in roughly the same region.

“The American vessel was conducting normal operations in international waters in accordance with the norms of international law. We will continue to work together with our allies and partners to support our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” said US Seventh Fleet Commander Megan Green.

China also expresses dissatisfaction with the expansion of the AUKUS alliance, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Defense ministers of the countries participating in the tripartite pact agreed on increasing the number of submarines in the Indo-Pacific region, which will be equipped with nuclear technologies, as well as on the joint development of artificial intelligence and space surveillance. The main goal is to contain the Chinese threat in the region, the Global Times commentators note.

“We are watching how America repeatedly sends its ships close to the waters of North Korea and China. This must also be understood in the context that now there is a great risk that the situation in the Indo-Pacific region in particular may escalate, and it is possible that it may escalate around the island of Taiwan,” emphasizes Candidate of Political Sciences, international expert Stanislav Zhelikhovsky.

To deter Chinese aggression, the US military also plans to deploy medium-range land-based missiles in the Indo-Pacific region in 2024.

The publication Nikkei Asia notes that this is the first deployment of missiles after the expiration of the treaty on the elimination of medium- and short-range missiles in 2019. The US signed an agreement with the Soviet Union in 1987 that prohibited the development and possession of land-based missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

“China continued to expand its arsenal of medium- and short-range missiles, while the United States was bound by the Treaty. According to the Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military power, Beijing currently has 1,500 missiles with a range of 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers,” — from the publication of Nikkei

“China should know that any of its force actions can be answered by force, which should deter it from force actions. These missiles are placed not in order to attack China, but in order to deter possible aggressive actions against the same Taiwan or possible other actions to subjugate other countries,” says New York University professor Igor Eisenberg.

It will be recalled that in November, the USA and China held negotiations on maritime issues, in particular regarding the disputed South China Sea.

Washington has stressed that it is concerned about Beijing’s dangerous and illegal actions. At the same time, the President of the Philippines, Bongbong Marcos, said that the situation in the South China Sea is worsening due to China’s interest in shoals located near the coast of the Philippines.