Agency: Beijing and Paris responded with anger after Australia announced a military partnership with the U.S. and Britain that allows it to send submarines to monitor China’s actions in the South China Sea.
French officials accused President Biden of acting like his predecessor, saying they were not consulted about the deal and describing the decision as a “knife in the back.” France also canceled a gala that was meant to celebrate its relations with the U.S.
Australia bet the house on U.S. power in Asia, our correspondents write in a news analysis. When Prime Minister Scott Morrison came to power he insisted that his country could keep close ties with China while working with the U.S. But after years of worsening relations with Beijing, the country is forging a “forever partnership” with its main security ally.
Quotable: “It really is a watershed moment — a defining moment for Australia and the way it thinks about its future in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Richard Maude, a former Australian security official who is now a senior fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute.
Recap: Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. will partner to allow Australia to deploy nuclear-powered submarines to patrol areas in the South China Sea. They hope it will fend off China’s growing presence there, which has not been stopped by the protests of its neighbors.
Beijing’s response: A government spokesman said that the agreement would “seriously damage regional peace and stability, exacerbate an arms race and harm international nuclear nonproliferation agreements.”