Weekly News Highlights: 9/20/2021 – 9/26/2021
A new U.S. alliance responding to the Chinese threat reignites ages-old tensions with France
AUKUS, a security alliance between Australia, the U.S., and the U.K., recently signed a deal to jointly create nuclear submarines for Australia in order to combat China's growing military presence in the Indo-Pacific. However, France has now accused Australia of a "knife in the back," as Australia recently cancelled a deal it made with France in 2016 to pay $66 billion for a new fleet of submarines. This has also brought back tensions between France with the U.S. and U.K. However, this article argues that the negative short-term effects to the relationships between the countries in AUKUS and France will be outweighed by the security that this deal brings in attempting to keep up with China's military development.
The Biden administration's approach to China "has had two faces." On one hand, Biden recently met with President Xi Jinping for the first time in several months to discuss how to cooperate on issues such as climate change and economic recovery. On the other hand, however, the nuclear deal the U.S. signed with Australia shows the caution and hostility that Biden is taking towards China.
China reacted with disdain at the nuclear deal, fearing alliances such as AUKUS, and will likely aim to separate the U.S. from other European nations. However, although France was angered by the nuclear deal, it still recognizes the need to collaborate with other nations such as the U.S. to deter China.