On Wednesday, the United States announced that it was seeking to strengthen its alliance with China. “AUKUS“, A broad defense partnership in the Indo-Pacific region with Australia and the United Kingdom, which includes the supply of US nuclear-powered submarines to Canberra.
A statement that shocked France, blaming it on a “regrettable blow”.Brutal“Joe Biden. This decision really ended a huge deal to supply French traditional submarines to Australia for 90 billion Australian dollars (56 billion euros).
It was, in fact, good French, a blow to the back.
“It was, in fact, good French, a blow to the back“Jean-Yves Le Trian, head of French diplomacy, told himself angrily on French Info radio.”Angry, very bitter“.
“We have established a trusting relationship with Australia. This belief is betrayed“, Jean-Yves Le Drian started and he finished”The deal of the century“On submarines when he was defense minister.
At the same time, the Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Barley regretted the RFIToo bad news for respect of a given word“And an end”Cemetery“In international politics.
French submarines are not as good as the Americans and the British
During a visit to Washington on Thursday, Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton announced that he had dropped a massive order for French submarines in favor of Anglo-American submarines.
“We needed a nuclear submarine and we looked at our options“Did he announce?”The French had a higher version than the one used by the United States and the United Kingdom, and in the end our decision was based on the interests of our national interests.“
By his side, Maurice Payne, the head of Australian diplomacy, considered it. “US leadership in the Indo-Pacific region“Is”unavoidable“.
France would have been warned, according to Washington
Beyond trade issues, Paris condemns the lack of consultation, especially since the issue came after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, leaving traces with US allies whose positions did not really weigh on Joe Biden’s decision.
“In the last 24-48 hours we have been in touch with our French colleagues to discuss AUKUS.“Anthony Blingen, President of US Diplomacy, promised.”France is a key partner“Indo-Pacific Region”And many other areas“He added.”It has been a long time coming and it will be in the future.“.
But France firmly denied, except to warn in the upstream, that it had not consulted.
“We were not informed about this project before the first information was published in American and Australian newspapers.“On Wednesday, a spokesman for the French embassy in Washington responded to AFP by Pascal Conbavrex.
Paris was not angry at the plan, which broke a large line of submarines from Australia to France, and the reactions against Canberra, who had been accused of violating a word given against US President Joe Biden, were very strong.
This unilateral, brutal, unpredictable decision by Mr. Just like what Trump was doing.
The two French ministers did not utter their words against US President Joe Biden, who has been accused of trampling on his allies.
“This unilateral, brutal, unpredictable decision by Mr. Just like what Trump was doing“Jean-Yves Le Drian, the former US president and head of French diplomacy on French radio, was outraged.
The United States will offer a nuclear deal to Australians unknown to us.
“The agreement between France and Australia ends, and then we suddenly learn from President Biden’s statement that the United States is offering a nuclear deal.“, Jean-Yves Le Trian pointed out.
“This was not done among the allies (..) We were talking about this with the United States some time ago. This is very unbearable“, He scored.
“We are clear on how America views its allies and partners“, Valued for her part Ms. Barley.
Following this agreement, French authorities canceled an evening Scheduled for Friday in Washington
Tensions with China “Cold War mood“
China has also condemned the sale.Very irresponsible“From US nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, as part of a new partnership that includes the United Kingdom.
“Cooperation between the United States, Britain and Australia on nuclear submarines seriously undermines regional peace and stability, intensifies arms competition and undermines international nuclear non-proliferation efforts.Chinese diplomatic spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.
He charged that the three countries show.Cold War moodAnd the use of nuclear weapons for geopolitical purposes.
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Despite being in strong tensions with Beijing and Canberra for a year and a half, Mr Zhao said the purchase of US submarines would prevent Australia from spreading nuclear weapons.
China was not mentioned in the joint statement of the leaders of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.Peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region“But there is no doubt that the new alliance is primarily aimed at confronting Beijing’s regional ambitions.
After his election, US President Joe Biden reiterated that he wanted to face China like his predecessor Donald Trump, but in a very different way without locking himself up in a face-to-face meeting.
New Zealand has banned nuclear vessels in its waters
The announcement did not please New Zealand’s neighbor Australia, which said it would maintain a ban on nuclear-powered vessels on its waters.
“The position on banning nuclear-powered vessels in New Zealand waters remains unchangedPrime Minister Jacintha Artern responded in a statement on Thursday.
France may ask for compensation
Selected by the French naval team Canberra to deliver 12 conventional (non-nuclear) propulsion submarines derived from future French Barakuda nuclear submarines.
When asked about possible compensation, Ms. Barley replied: “We will study all the ways“And try”Control the effects of the naval team as much as possible“.
“We need some clarity. We have contracts. Australians need to be told how they are“, The head of French diplomacy saidDescriptions“Like Washington in Australia.
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