Back in the 19th century, the stage had been set in Asia for the “Great Game” between Britain and Russia. The global power struggle between China and the U.S. today has been dubbed as the “New Great Game.” Many analysts, for their part, prefer to describe it as the “New Cold War.” Regardless of the definition, the facts remain the same: on one side of the superpower rivalry seesaw is the U.S., and China is on the other. American foreign policy elites argue that Beijing is trying to dethrone the U.S. from its “position” in the world. Beijing, for its part, thinks that the U.S. is trying to ensnare China. It thinks that America’s Cold War-era plan to besiege the Soviet Union has been recalibrated to fit China’s description.
U.S. President Joe Biden called Britain off its spare bench after the U.K. severed its ties with Europe, declaring a new security pact called along with Australia. The most important aspect of the agreement is that the U.S. will build nuclear-powered submarines for the Land Down Under. Good luck convincing anyone that this move isn’t targeting China’s naval power.
Biden had pledged that he would set about rapidly mending the U.S.’s ties with its European allies that Trump had seriously battered. Biden’s government considers China as its formidable rival that must be put down or, at the very least, stopped in its tracks. The EU, for its part, hasn’t declared China “enemy No. 1.” On the contrary, it has taken a big step for a comprehensive investment deal between the EU and China. The U.S.’s reaction caused the deal to be suspended before it could be approved by the European Parliament.
With the “AUKUS Alliance,” Biden has thus made his strategic move to rein China in. Analysts predict that this move is the most critical defense alliance ever made since the end of the Cold War. In 2016, a trilateral agreement was signed between the navies of Japan, Britain, and the U.S. Furthermore, the attempts to turn the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), which comprises of the U.S., India, Japan, and Australia, into a strategic partnership, is another affiliated alliance against China.
There is a long-standing project to establish a superpower alliance between “English-speaking countries” known as the “Anglosphere” in the U.K. This project, which includes the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, is known as “CANZUK.” Strategists refer to this project as “Empire 2.0” or the “Anglospheric Federation.” These countries possess Anglo-Saxon systems politically, legally, and culturally. If the project materializes, CANZUK will become the fourth-largest economy in the world after the U.S., China, and the EU. Thus, CANZUK countries will be more influential on the global stage when compared to their individual sovereigns.
Of the 15 members of the British Commonwealth, which symbolizes the U.K.’s former colonies and recognizes Queen Elizabeth II as president, only four of them are included in the CANZUK project. This is why it has become known as the “White Man’s Club.” One of the former colonies of England, the U.S. is considered the future patron of the “CANZUK Alliance.” It is thought that CANZUK will fall apart without the support of the U.S., which boasts the world’s largest naval power. Some American strategists refer to the alliance that the U.S. will establish with these four countries as the “Core Alliance”. According to these strategists, the Core Alliance will be the most important link in the wider chain of alliances planned by the U.S. against China in the Pacific. On another note, an intelligence-sharing deal called Five Eyes was struck between the English-speaking countries of America, the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand in the Cold War-era. Once targeting the Soviet Union, it’s no secret these days that the Five Eyes alliance has now set its sights on China.
In an article penned for the Wall Street Journal titled “It’s Time to Revive the Anglosphere,” conservative British historian Andrew Roberts defends that England should form an alliance with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in order to become a global partner of the U.S. According to Roberts, the world order has been going through a transformation since the end of the Cold War. Hence, CANZUK could not have come sooner.
The front line of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union had been Eastern Europe. The front line of the “New Great Game” or “New Cold War” between China and the U.S. is now the Indo-Pacific. That’s why the U.S. is focusing on forming alliance networks with Indo-Pacific powers, and keeping the EU benched.