France “Angry and Bitter” After Biden’s “Stab in the Back”
Washington hijacks a 2016 French-Australian $40 billion submarine deal from its French vassal
France accused U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday of stabbing it in the back and acting like his predecessor Donald Trump after Paris was pushed aside from a lucrative defence deal that it had signed with Australia for submarines.
The United States, Britain and Australia said they would establish a security partnership for the Indo-Pacific that will help Australia acquire U.S. nuclear-powered submarines and scrap the $40 billion French-designed submarine deal. [Under the deal with France Australia would have played a part in building them. The US offers no such terms.]
“This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr Trump used to do,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told franceinfo radio. “I am angry and bitter. This isn’t done between allies.” [Because you are not “allies”. You are a vassal and they are an overlord.]
In 2016, Australia had selected French shipbuilder Naval Group to build a new submarine fleet worth $40 billion to replace its more than two-decades-old Collins submarines.
Two weeks ago, the Australian defence and foreign ministers had reconfirmed the deal to France, and French President Emmanuel Macron lauded decades of future cooperation when hosting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in June.
“It’s a stab in the back. We created a relationship of trust with Australia and that trust has been broken,” Le Drian said.
Relations between Trump and Macron soured during Trump’s presidency, and diplomats say there have been concerns in recent months that Biden is not being forthright with his European allies.
Washington’s actions in Australia are likely to further strain Transatlantic ties. The European Union was due to roll out its Indo-Pacific strategy later on Thursday and Paris is preparing to take on the EU presidency.
The French look after all of Australia's war dead with great care & concern. When the British & Americans were faffing about, the French sold us Mirage fighters that gave decades of good service in the RAAF. I rarely block but will block anyone insulting the French.
— Gray Connolly (@GrayConnolly) September 15, 2021
“This is a clap of thunder and for many in Paris a Trafalgar moment,” Bruno Tertrais, Deputy Director of the Paris-based think tank the Foundation of Strategic Research said on Twitter, referring to a French naval defeat in 1805 that was followed by British naval supremacy.
He said it would “complicate the transatlantic cooperation in and about the region. Beijing will benefit.”
Biden said on Wednesday France remained a “key partner in the Indo-Pacific zone.”
Morrison said in a statement that Australia looked forward to continuing to work “closely and positively” with France, adding: “France is a key friend and partner to Australia and the Indo-Pacific.”
If you don't understand why Australia would undermine its own economic and security interests to pour a fortune into America's cold war with China, watch this. Australia isn't allied with the US to protect itself from China, it's allied with the US to protect itself from the US. https://t.co/m6CSKlrF4e
— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) September 15, 2021