AUKUS was created to facilitate the transfer of British and American nuclear submarine technology to Australia and to support the development of advanced new technologies that may become even more important in the future due to the hostile nature of China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.
Australia, Great Britain, and the United States had different reasons for creating this allied group. Australia was looking for closer ties with the UK and the US as it wanted nuclear powered submarine technology, largely due to the growing threat from China. With the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressive diplomacy and the rapid expansion of the Chinese navy, Australia saw China’s actions in the region as a threat to its sovereignty and right to self-determination. For this reason, its turn to the United States and the broad coalition of Free World states is growing.
When analyzing the military potential of the People’s Liberation Army of China, it is clear that the Chinese have one of the largest armies in the world, including the largest navy today. As the Australians noted, it is the sea fleet that plays the greatest role in conducting military operations in this region. For this reason, the Scott Morrison government introduced Australia to AUKUS, but the maritime potential of allied countries alone may not constitute an overwhelming advantage over China, which equates to the lack of an appropriate preventive function in the region.
This is due to the calculations of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, which indicate that the Chinese navy currently has more than 530 combat ships. Contrasting this number with 480 US Navy ships, 74 Royal Navy ships of Great Britain and 44 hulls in the ranks of the Royal Australian Navy, it can be understood that in the face of the dynamic development of the Chinese sea fleet, the collective naval power of AUKUS gives only a slight advantage in the waters of the Pacific (530 vs 598). For this reason, further alliances should be sought to consolidate the Anglo-Saxon coalition in this region.
One of the ways to increase the security and stabilization of the region is the broader allied involvement of the remaining countries of the anti-Chinese coalition, which also share the Anglo-Saxon connotations of Canada and New Zealand. Canada currently has 64 combat ships at its disposal, while New Zealand has 11 ships in its fleet. The involvement of these two countries, with the United States’ separate activity in this region and activities within the AUKUS framework, would give rise to a new alliance that has been in the sphere of discussion for several years by politicians from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain – CANZUK. The idea of creating such a coalition is lobbied by the CANZUK International group and largely supported by British conservatives. Other supporters include think tanks such as the Adam Smith Institute, Henry Jackson Society, Bruges Group, and leading politicians from all of the four countries.
“It’s time to be bold. Canada should propose a CANZUK deal to bring closer ties with our traditional friends – the UK, Australia and New Zeland” – said Erin O’Toole, a Canadian MP representing the Conservative Party of Canada.
“If we can do something better with Australia, Canada and New Zealand, we certainly should. We share very, very similar interests and a uniquely shared set of values” – added, speaking about the development perspective of CANZUK, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The combined forces of the Anglo-Saxon alliance AUKUS with the Royal Navy of Canada and New Zealand would build a lasting counterbalance to the growing power of the People’s Republic of China and the diplomatic activity of Communist China in the Solomon Islands region.
The merger of the AUKUS allies with the potential extension of the agreement of states within CANZUK would be instrumental in securing the South Pacific region.
According to publicly available sources, the Chinese navy currently numbers around 300,000 military personnel. Contrary to this number, the AUKUS countries have a total of over 399,000 soldiers in active service at sea.
Adding to this number the personnel potential of the Royal Canadian and New Zealand Navy (8,300 Canada and 2050 New Zealand), the countries of the potential Anglo-Saxon anti-Chinese coalition in the Indo-Pacific would count almost 410,000 actively serving soldiers. This is about 110,000 more than the current Navy of the People’s Liberation Army of China.
On the other side, in the north of the Pacific Ocean, we can see the increased activity of the remaining US allies – Japan and South Korea, as a response to China’s activities in the South China Sea region. Activity increases with the upcoming QUAD summit, which is scheduled for May 24, 2022 in Tokyo. It is there that many binding decisions will be made aimed at the proliferation of the so-called Pax Americana in this place on Earth.