It is important that the US examines all areas when it looks at how it competes with China. Among the common themes such as its arms race, tech war, export controls, and military-industrial investment, the US must also respond to how China operates.

One crucial method of competition is the US’ equipment delivery pace to its allies and partners, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Jack reed contends.

On 24 April 2023, in a fireside chat with the Centre for New American Security (CNAS), the Democrat senator for Rhode Island pointed out that the US must ensure it can “more efficiently deliver systems to our allies and to those who want to be our allies.”

Getting the best out of the partnership policy

With intergration and interoperability between allies and partners being a crucial objective for the US Department of Defense (DoD) it is important that the US looks to reduce the effect of protectionist barriers like the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) that restricts and controls the export of defence and military related technologies.

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ITAR has been a central source of criticism from the allies and partners of the US. The UK Defence Committee published a report on 7 March calling for the US to provide greater technology and intelligence sharing and the need to overcome costly US industry regulations.

“Indeed, our network of allies and partners will be the decisive factor in this competition [with China]. We have seen the power of the approach in our efforts to support Ukraine, and it should be pursued in the Indo-Pacific as well, particularly as we strive to deter Chinese aggression against Taiwan,” Reed asserted.

Confronting China’s methods of influence

In a protracted conflict it is important that the US responds to the forms of power displayed by China that go beyond the military domain.

“One of the things the Chinese do is that they’re able to deliver equipment, which is as good as [the US’], but they can do it in a very short period of time, and that gives them a step into the doorway.

“We want to be able to counter that by providing equipment at a much more dependable and rapid pace,” Reed continued.

This is a useful concept that other nations share at the moment. Australia, one of America’s AUKUS partners alongside the UK, has also asked themselves what they can contribute as a partner of the AUKUS scheme.

The Managing Director of Macquarie Government, Aidan Tudehope applauded Australia’s recently published Defence Strategic Review. He noted: “This guidance… will ensure Australia is a capability contributor to AUKUS and not solely a capability consumer,” as the scheme has been considered to comprise largely of leading American technologies.