The leaders of the United States, Britain and Australia will meet next Monday in California, USA, and will reach a deal on submarines that will leave France in the dust. The military cooperation plan of the United States, Britain, and Australia is clearly aimed at China. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in France before heading to the United States, which has a subtle significance in placating France. The Orcus submarine incident was ultimately a wound for France.
Agence France-Presse reported today that Biden, Sunak and Albanese will meet in San Diego, home to one of the largest U.S. naval bases, to join the new three-way membership of what they call the “AUKUS” security alliance summit. Australia is expected to unveil plans to buy eight nuclear-powered submarines after 18 months of deliberations, in what the prime minister called the “biggest leap” in Australia’s defense history.
Over the past year and a half, there have been extensive behind-the-scenes negotiations between Washington, Canberra and London over Australia’s purchase of sensitive nuclear propulsion technology. However, Australia has ruled out acquiring nuclear weapons. The submarine deal is worth tens of billions of dollars, but experts say the case goes beyond the jobs created and promised investment.
Nuclear-powered submarines are difficult to detect, can travel long distances and carry technologically sophisticated cruise missiles.
Beijing has expressed strong opposition to the project, which it sees as a threat and danger aimed at cornering China.
AUKUS is a tripartite military alliance of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States to share military technology and other advances. But, as Charles Edel of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington states, “while each country’s rationale for AUKUS is slightly different, it basically boils down to targeting China, which has grown exponentially in military power over the past decade Growth, the posture is more aggressive and aggressive.
The Orcus alliance aims to reaffirm the trio’s presence in the strategic Asia-Pacific region, a vast region stretching from the coasts of East Africa to the shores of West America through which a key portion of world trade passes. China’s influence in the region is growing. Beijing has not ruled out using force to achieve reunification with Taiwan, and China has just approved a 7.2 percent increase in its defense budget for 2023, the highest increase since 2019.
Agence France-Presse quoted the British “Times” as saying that Australia should buy British-made submarines instead of American ones.
The AUKUS alliance led to a diplomatic crisis with France, which accused Australia of being a traitor, as Canberra canceled a contract to buy 12 French submarines. The incident has since subsided somewhat, with no heated diplomatic squabbles between Paris, Washington, London and Canberra, and French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the US in early December.
France said nuclear submarines “are no longer our business. It’s over.” A French source commented that all three allies had “informed” Paris about the nuclear submarine follow-up.
However, in addition to losing an important arms contract worth tens of billions of euros, France is also angry that its close allies have created a fait accompli. While Paris has now turned the page, France still believes it was a “mistake” and will “focus” on non-proliferation, according to the French source, who asked not to be named.
But since President Biden met with Macron, and Secretary of State Blinken met with Colonna on Thursday, contacts between Paris and Washington have been plentiful anyway. The defense and foreign ministers of France and Australia also met with their French side in Paris at the end of January.
Before heading to the US, the British prime minister traveled to France on Friday for a summit with Macron that marked “a new beginning” and “a new ambition” for French-British relations, including in the Asia-Pacific region. “The region is home to half the world’s population, 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, and these production values are growing enormously,” Sunak told reporters. “France and we both want to be more active players in the region, which is possible.” Understood.”
Sunak revealed that the French and British navies will strengthen military cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Source : rfi.fr