Asian Insider Podcast: AUKUS and the Quad - shifting power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seen during a joint press conference, in Canberra on Sept 16, 2021, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden attending virtually. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Asian Insider Ep 76: AUKUS and the Quad - shifting power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific

18:59 mins

Synopsis: Each month, The Straits Times' US bureau chief Nirmal Ghosh presents an Asian perspective of the week's global talking points with expert guests.

Power dynamics are changing in the Asia and Indo-Pacific with the mid-September announcement of the decision by the United States to share nuclear submarine technology with Australia, a privilege previously accorded only to the United Kingdom.

The submarine deal is a key part of AUKUS, the new trilateral security partnership between the US, UK and Australia. Under AUKUS, Australia will acquire or build nuclear-powered submarines, and get Tomahawks and other long range missiles. France, originally contracted to build diesel-electric submarines for Australia, found its contract scrapped.

Nirmal Ghosh chats with two expert guests. Dr Aparna Pande is Research Fellow & director of Hudson Institute's Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia.

Dr Carl Thayer is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Visiting Fellow, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra. He is a South-east Asia regional specialist who taught at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Australian Command and Staff College.

They discuss the following points:

1. Dr Thayer on what the AUKUS deal means for Australia in countering China (2:10)

2. Dr Pande on how India views the Quad group comprising the US, Japan, India and Australia (4:30)

3. Dr Thayer on why the Quad should not be mistaken for being an alliance (8:48)

4. Will the Asia and Indo-Pacific see an accelerating arms race? (11:20)

5. Is the US finally executing its long-awaited "pivot" to Asia? (13:58)

Produced by: Nirmal Ghosh (, Ernest Luis & Fa'izah Sani

Edited by: Fa'izah Sani

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