Australia-Japan pact heightens China’s ‘regional NATO’ fear,

China’s unilateralism and growing belligerence have led many “like-minded” countries to come together to uphold a proactive yet cautious stance toward the Indo-Pacific region, and the Quad 2.0, comprising the US, Australia, Japan and India, has been especially prominent in this regard.

This trend has enabled robust bilateralism to take center stage and lay the groundwork for successful multilateral collaborations. The rising ties among the Quad 2.0 members have come to play a prime role in their foreign-policy overtures, with the latest example being the “in principle” agreement on a long-anticipated defense pact, the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA), by “special strategic partners” Australia and Japan.

Predictably, Chinese state media and experts have perceived the RAA as a prelude to a multilateral mechanism with the core objective of containing China – an “Indo-Pacific NATO” – and therefore detrimental to regional stability. […]

The landmark pact will permit the Australian Defense Force (ADF) and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to operate in each other’s countries, allowing greater interoperability, military-to-military cooperation and multilateral venture of military exercises and understanding. Läs artikel