Analysis: the western alliance is the main victim – and Beijing will win out unless US convinces seething Paris it is still an Indo-Pacific partner
Fury in Paris at Australia’s decision to tear up plans to buy a French-built fleet of submarines is not only a row about a defence contract, cost overruns and technical specifications. It throws into question the transatlantic alliance to confront China.
The Aukus deal has left the French political class seething at Joe Biden’s Trumpian unilateralism, Australian two-facedness and the usual British perfidy. “Nothing was done by sneaking behind anyone’s back,” assured the British defence minister, Ben Wallace, in an attempt to soothe the row. But that is not the view in Paris. “This is an enormous disappointment,” said Florence Parly, the French defence minister.