Anthony Albanese, Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak announce the Aukus nuclear-powered submarine deal in San Diego. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/AP
In a tripartite deal with the US and the UK, Australia has unveiled a plan to acquire a fleet of up to eight nuclear-powered submarines, forecast to cost up to $368bn between now and the mid-2050s. Australia will spend $9bn over the next four years.
From this year Australian military and civilian personnel will embed with US and UK navies, including within both countries’ submarine industrial bases. From 2027 the UK and the US plan to rotate their nuclear-powered submarines through HMAS Stirling near Perth as part of a push to step up training of Australians.
There is a growing acceptance among countries in the Indo-Pacific region that strategic competition between the United States and China is changing perceptions about security and the adequacy of the existing security architecture. While some have characterized the competition between the two as a new Cold War, it is clear that what is happening in the region is far more complex than the competition that characterized the original Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. First, the economic integration that has taken place since the early 1990s makes it much more difficult to draw bright ideological lines between the two sides. Further, the Asian context of the emerging competition is one where the two competitors have grown to share power. As the dominant military power, the United States has been the primary security guarantor in Asia and beyond. China, on the other hand, has emerged over the past decades as the primary economic catalyst in Asia and beyond. Currently, each side seems increasingly unwilling to accept that arrangement.
By Kentaro Furuya Capt. Kentaro Furuya (JCG) (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an adjunct professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) and professor at the Japan Coast Guard Academy.This PacNet was developed as a part of a workshop on potential cooperation among Quad coast guards to implement the FOIP vision organized by YCAPS. The papers were edited by John Bradford (RSIS) and Blake Herzinger (AEI). For the first in the series, click here.
Originally responsible primarily for maintaining good order and the safety of life at sea in domestic waters, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) has expanded its commitment to international duties to cultivate external relationships and much-needed capacity building in neighboring states. While they began in the 1970s, these international activities have, in recent years, become essential functions in realizing Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). The JCG’s broad spectrum of capabilities and engagements makes it indispensable across all elements of Tokyo’s broader regional strategy, and its deepening partnership with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) is amplifying its impact. Tiếp tục đọc “The Japan Coast Guard’s role in realizing a Free and Open Indo-Pacific”→
By Tran Đinh Hoanh Tran Đinh Hoanh is an international litigator and writer in Washington DC.
[TĐH: I’ve tried to make this piece ultra-short, simple, and easy
to remember, with sufficient citations for those who’d like to dig
deeper into UNCLOS]
During China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on June 13, he responded to a Bloomberg question concerning the legal status of the Taiwan Strait. Asked about Chinese military officials’ contention that the Taiwan Strait does not constitute “international waters,” he said that Taiwan is “an inalienable part of China’s territory. …According to UNCLOS and Chinese laws, the waters of the Taiwan Strait, extending from both shores toward the middle of the Strait, are divided into several zones including internal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, and the Exclusive Economic Zone. China has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait.”
He went on to say that calling the strait international waters is “a false claim” by “certain countries” searching for a pretext for “threatening China’s sovereignty and security.”
The Quadrilateral grouping of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States (the Quad) has come a long way from its origins, establishing itself as a crucial pillar of the Indo-Pacific regional architecture and significantly shifting in tone and focus from its early iterations. Since its revival in 2017, the Quad has been elevated to a leader-level dialogue, it has begun issuing joint statements, and it has developed a new working-group structure to facilitate cooperation. It has also significantly broadened and deepened its agenda to include vaccines, climate change, critical and emerging technologies, infrastructure, cyber, and space.
These recent changes to the Quad raise several questions about its future trajectory. What are the drivers of engagement, the domestic support, and the bureaucratic capacity in the four countries to continue investing in the Quad? How well does the Quad’s new working-group structure function, and will the working groups be able to deliver tangible results? How has the Quad’s agenda evolved, and will it return to its initial focus on security challenges? Are the Quad countries open to cooperation with additional countries and, if so, what form will this take?
This paper analyzes these questions drawing on recent publications, official statements, and interviews with key experts and policymakers in the four countries. In doing so, it offers five key takeaways into the Quad as an evolving part of the Indo-Pacific architecture, as well as a vehicle for achieving the goals of its four member countries.
Since its revival in 2017, the Quad has been elevated to a leader-level dialogue, it has begun issuing joint statements, and it has developed a new working-group structure to facilitate cooperation
First, in terms of institutionalization and internal goals, there is little interest among the member countries in further institutionalizing the Quad by establishing a secretariat or adopting a charter. All four consider the flexible nature of the grouping to be an asset. At the same time, the Quad partners have increased their alignment on strategic issues and aim to continue doing so in the near future by solidifying ties within the grouping.
Responding to widespread criticism of the Biden administration’s paltry offer of funding for Southeast Asian partners at a recent summit, a wise friend offered a colorful metaphor: “If we’re dating and I sense that you’re being transactional, then I want you to take me to the best restaurant in town and get the priciest bottle of wine. If you want a long-term relationship, buy me a cheap bottle of Chianti and we can sit on the roof and watch the sunset.”
My friend is right: no amount of money will win hearts and minds in the vital Indo-Pacific region unless it comes with a credible demonstration of long-term commitment to the region.
In late May, the Joe Biden administration launched its first major trade initiative: the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). The IPEF is billed as an effort to expand U.S. economic leadership in the Indo-Pacific region. This was also the objective of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal that was negotiated during the Barack Obama administration. But President Donald Trump withdrew from the TPP in 2017, and the Biden administration has made clear that it does not intend to reenter that trade pact, which is now renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP.
The biggest announcement from President Joe Biden’s trip to Asia may be the one that got the least attention. The Quad, a grouping consisting of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, has just announced a maritime domain awareness partnership that will provide a new stream of data from commercial satellites to countries across the Indo-Pacific. This is a substantial addition to the Quad’s agenda and one of its most promising initiatives to date. Critically, it satisfies the desire of most regional partners for the Quad to provide public goods and address the needs of smaller states in and the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. If properly executed, this effort could be a flagship project for demonstrating the Quad’s value to regional countries. Tiếp tục đọc “THE QUAD GOES TO SEA”→
Today, we – Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, and President Joe Biden of the United States – convene in Tokyo to renew our steadfast commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and resilient.
Just over one year ago, Leaders met for the first time. Today in Tokyo, we convene for our fourth meeting, and our second in person, to demonstrate, at a time of profound global challenge, that the Quad is a force for good, committed to bringing tangible benefits to the region. In our first year of cooperation, we established the Quad’s dedication to a positive and practical agenda; in our second year, we are committed to deliver on this promise, making the region more resilient for the 21st century.
President Biden in Japan.Doug Mills/The New York Times
Biden in Asia
The politics of trade policy have become toxic in the U.S.
For decades, the mainstream of both the Democratic and Republican parties favored expanding trade between the U.S. and other countries. Greater globalization, these politicians promised, would increase economic growth — and with the bounty from that growth, the country could compensate any workers who suffered from increased trade. But it didn’t work out that way.
Hiệp định Đối tác tăng cường an ninh ba bên giữa Mỹ, Anh và Australia (AUKUS) có phiên âm khá thú vị (ô kis) – “Hôn nhau cái nào” – đến mức Tổng thống Biden cũng cảm thấy thích thú khi phát âm tên liên minh mới trong bài diễn văn đánh dấu sự ra đời của AUKUS.
Tuy nhiên, việc thành lập AUKUS thì hoàn toàn nghiêm túc, chẳng “lãng mạn” chút nào, và là kết quả của những nỗ lực thương lượng không ngừng nghỉ trong nhiều tháng trước đó của quan chức cấp cao 3 nước, trước khi AUKUS chính thức ra đời ngày 15/9/2021 vừa qua.
Tạm thời có thể rút ra 10 nhận xét nhanh từ sự ra đời của AUKUS như sau:
China unveiled the concept for the Twenty-First Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) in 2013 as a development strategy to boost infrastructure connectivity throughout Southeast Asia, Oceania, the Indian Ocean, and East Africa. The MSR is the maritime complement to the Silk Road Economic Belt, which focuses on infrastructure development across Central Asia. Together these initiatives form the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative designed to enhance China’s influence across Asia. Tiếp tục đọc “China’s Maritime Silk Road: Strategic and Economic Implications for the Indo-Pacific Region”→
U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pose after signing hats reading “Donald and Shinzo make alliance even greater.” Kawagoe, Japan, Nov. 5. (Franck Robichon/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Gurpreet S. Khurana, who first used the term “Indo-Pacific” a decade ago, is a maritime strategist and executive director of the National Maritime Foundation in New Delhi.
NEW DELHI — On his recent tour of Asia, U.S. President Donald Trump offered the world a first glance into his formative geopolitical strategy. Both in Vietnam at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and at his earlier meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan, he spoke of the “Indo-Pacific” instead of the “Asia-Pacific,” the term used most often by previous American administrations. Tiếp tục đọc “Trump’s new Cold War alliance in Asia is dangerous”→