France has withdrawn from a scheduled defense conference with the United Kingdom, citing an ongoing dispute over submarines involving Paris, London, Canberra, as well as Washington, D.C. As per the BBC, Lord Ricketts (who co-chaired the two-day conference) gently indicated that it had been “delayed to a future stage.”
France is Not Happy at all… They Lose Billions
The elimination of a project to build Australian submarines valued at tens of billions of dollars in favor of US and potentially UK equipment (as part of the upcoming AUKUS [Australia-United Kingdom-United States] defense agreement) is causing some heat.
This projection elimination was meant to counter socialist China’s aggressive behavior in the Indo-Pacific; however, it has also enraged Emmanuel Macron’s administration. France already underwent the unprecedented step of withdrawing representatives to Australia.
France as well, withdraw representatives to America over the submarine agreement; however, France had not taken any action against the Brits. This comes with the exception of openly criticizing them as “embracing a form of vassal condition” and sitting on their hands in this issue.
Nevertheless, their rhetoric against Australia has been even worse, with the former British territory being oddly charged of “treason” and “a backstab.”
‘Big Moment for the Anglosphere’: Farage Praises ‘First Coordinated Military Pushback Against Communist China’ https://t.co/JjEAXr1TcU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 17, 2021
Despite the fact the French project was beset by project delays, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stayed firm in his decision to withdraw. Morrison said this was a choice as to whether the submarines were being constructed.
This choice also came at great cost to the Australian ratepayer; people would’ve been able to perform the work required of them when they entered service. It moreover hurts Australia’s strategic assessment, based on the best potential knowledge and defense advice. Therefore, they regret nothing.
Ignoring the insults, Boris Johnson has tried to pacify the French, telling reporters that “affection for France is unchangeable.” Johnson also says that AUKUS is not intended to be zero-sum or exclusive. It’s not something anyone should be concerned about, especially their French companions.
The French government is seething over Australia's decision to drop a troubled multi-billion French submarine deal in favour of collaboration with Britain and America, describing it as "treason" and accusing the British of being in "America's lap" https://t.co/e0a7iy11Kj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 19, 2021
The Need for an Alliance Against China is Big
China is undoubtedly the most dangerous threat to western democracy. For Australia, that threat is real, present, and increasing every day. For China, Australia presents a delicious hunk of landmass that they desperately need.
Australia’s vast natural resources would be a huge asset to China. The vast open space would also allow China to disperse its massive population. The Australian military is good, but it is not close to the strength of China.
These new nuclear submarines might change things, though. The strategic advantage of having silent hunters under the waves that can sink ships (and an entire war effort) while remaining undetected is vital. The partnership with the US and UK greatly enhances the effort to counter China.