With a so-called new cold war between the United States and China now in full swing, new geopolitical alignments are emerging across the Indo-Pacific.
Predictably, the recently announced Australia-U.K.-U.S. (AUKUS) nuclear-powered submarine deal dominated the headlines. After all, long-term deployment of state-of-the-art submarines to the region are clearly targeted toward China, which has steadily expanded its naval footprint across adjacent waters.
For the first time in recent memory, the U.S. is also expected to share cutting-edge military technology with a foreign partner: Australia is expected to receive at least three Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines within a decade, while waiting for its own share of the next-generation nuclear attack Astute-class submarines by the middle of the century. Meanwhile, South Korea’s president, Yoon Suk-yeol, took a major step in his hopes of revitalizing frayed ties with Japan following a warm meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo.