Why France Is Pissed At Australia Over Submarines

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A new deal that was announced last week between Australia, the US and the UK involving submarines has made France incredibly mad at Australia.

That deal is called the AUKUS agreement, and it means that nuclear submarines are going to be built in Adelaide.

The submarines aren’t going to be armed with nuclear weapons, they’re going to be powered by nuclear reactors, and the AUKUS agreement makes Australia just the seventh country around the world to operate nuclear-powered subs.

Under the deal, the US and the UK will consult Australia on the technology that the submarines are going to use, and the three countries will share information on the capabilities of the tech.

Since the deal was announced the French government has been fuming, mostly with Australia.

It’s recalled back to France its allies from both the US and Australia, and said that the deal has created a serious crisis.

So Why Has The AUKUS Agreement Made France So Mad?

Back in 2016, Australia signed a deal with France to build 12 submarines.

That deal was worth $90billion, and when Scott Morrison travelled to the UK back in June this year for the G7 summit, he supposedly assured the French President Emmanuel Macron that the 2016 deal was still looking good.

But there have since been reports that Morrison negotiated the AUKUS agreement in secret whilst at the summit with both US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

That was also the summit where Morrison decided to go on a little family tree sight-seeing exploration despite the pandemic restrictions still in place for Australians.

The announcement of the new AUKUS agreement not only axed Australia’s 2016 deal with France, but it supposedly blindsided the French government.

It said that it was only made aware of the deal hours before it was announced, and reportedly US officials had given France a heads up, but Australia hadn’t.

France’s Foreign Minister told French radio that the deal is a stab in the back, and that Australia has betrayed the trust between the two countries.

But Morrison insisted over the weekend that he has always been clear on Australia’s stance.

So Why Was Everyone Making Deals For Submarines In The First Place?

The South China Sea is a region that links the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

It’s always been a contested area because different countries claim that they own different parts of it.

Over the last few years, China has been building artificial bases and ramping up its military presence in the South China Sea.

The timing of the AUKUS agreement is interesting.

The UK has officially withdrawn from the EU, the US withdrew from Afghanistan less than a month ago, and Australia has face increased tensions with China.

Earlier this year, China placed heavy trade sanctions on Australian goods.

Experts think that the AUKUS agreement represents a shift in the politics and strategy surrounding the South China Sea region.

Guy Boekenstein is the senior director of defence and strategy for the Norther Territory government.

He told the BBC that the AUKUS agreement is a big deal because it shows that Australia, the US, and the UK are drawing a line in the sand to start and counter aggressive moves from China in the Indo-Pacific region.