On 15 September, the US, UK, and Australia announced the new trilateral AUKUS defence partnership. While the partners said it's designed to protect and defend "our shared interests in the Indo-Pacific", some experts believe the true purpose of the partnership is to counter China.
French Defenсe Minister Says US Instigating Confrontation With China
PARIS (Sputnik) - French Defence Minister Florence Parly accused the United States on Tuesday of attempting to instigate confrontation with China, when discussing the recent backroom deal between Canberra and Washington to cancel a French submarine deal and the creation of AUKUS.
Parly said at a French parliamentary session that the increasing power and aggression of China may cause serious trouble for many countries.
"We must come up with an alternative to this growing assertiveness of China. France is present in the Indo-Pacific Region, because it does not want its voice and the voice of Europe to be ignored. There is a desire from the US to increase escalation, [creating a] stand-off with China. I do not want to make predictions, but this stand-off might take on a military dimension. Is it what we want for peace and international relations in this important region?" Parly asked.
The French minister also said that Paris needs to consider several options of further interaction among European partners regarding the crisis.
On Wednesday, Australia announced a new security partnership, AUKUS, with the United States and the United Kingdom, and withdrew unilaterally from a deal with France on the purchase of Barracuda submarines.
The next day, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called Australia's decision a "stab in the back," emphasizing that trust had been undermined. French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clement Beaune, stated that Europe must reinforce strategic autonomy and defense after this incident.