Full speed ahead: why AUKUS works for India

By Yogesh Joshi

Over the almost three years since its historic announcement, the AUKUS agreement has elicited a broad range of regional responses. While some countries have welcomed the strategic alignment that AUKUS brings, others share concerns over increased regional instability, the emergence of antagonistic security blocs, and nuclear proliferation.

To guarantee the security that the pact promises, Australia and its fellow AUKUS partners will need to understand the region’s perspectives.

This series is designed to provide insight into regional responses to AUKUS, more than two years on. It will delve into the concerns, qualms, and avenues for opportunity in seven Indo-Pacific countries, through the eyes of regional authors.

The final report in this series by Dr Yogesh Joshi, Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore, explores India’s response to the AUKUS pact.

Although India’s official response to AUKUS has been conservative, its actions suggest that it welcomes the pact in the Indo-Pacific.

For India, AUKUS’ strategic messaging aligns well with its national interests. Continued US-China competition will bring both diplomatic and strategic benefits, not least ensuring the US’ continued commitment to the region.

The security pact also assuages India’s concerns over Chinese expansionism. Enhanced Australian naval capabilities will leave the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy more invested in the South China Sea and its regional waters and less focussed on the Indian Ocean – India’s regional priority.

Finally, India will benefit from AUKUS’ defence technology cooperation, as it bolsters competition among technology vendors, enhances India’s bargaining power, and opens the door to possible future agreements with the US.  

Download the report

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