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Fold, call or raise? China’s potential AUKUS reactions

Over a month has passed since the announcement of the defense cooperation agreement among Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (AUKUS).

While the deal includes cooperation in a variety of areas, the most eye-catching aspect of the cooperation is the sale of nuclear-powered submarines, a crown jewel of US military technology, to Australia.

Although AUKUS does not mention China directly, it is well-understood that China motivated the formation of this partnership. Given the scope of AUKUS and its relatively long implementation timeframe, there are four ways to analyze Chinese reactions: threat assessment, nuclear nonproliferation, potential responses, and the regional arms race.



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