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Confrontation with China emerges as Biden's top international priority

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Confrontation with China emerges as Biden's top international priority

More than ever, the confrontation with China is emerging as Joe Biden's top international priority. And the president of the United States of America is walking coldly, even if it means causing collateral damage among his allies.

The sudden announcement on Wednesday of the US-Australia-Australia Strategic Partnership (AUKUS) in the Indo-Pacific region, which envisions Australia acquiring nuclear-powered submarines and US missiles, is the latest manifestation of this dichotomy. to thwart Beijing's growing ambitions: AUKUS is to the detriment of France, which has been excluded and lost by the cancellation of a huge submarine order it was to sell to Canberra.

“The priority is to compete with China,” said Benjamin Haddad of the Atlantic Council. “Everything else is just a distraction”

The US-based French researcher sees the deal as “a form of follow-up” to “America First”, a favorite slogan of former Republican President Donald Trump, but also “increasingly one-sided.”

Challenge of the century

Joe Biden immediately adopted the same strong stance as his predecessor on the Asian giant, which has been described as “the greatest geopolitical challenge of the 21st century” by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

But the 78-year-old president's initial message, “America is back,” “back” to its allies, wanted to break the unilateral actions and chauvinism of the Republican billionaire.

His first months in the presidency seemed to yield commitments in this direction, with a greater show of respect for the European Union and NATO, and a declared willingness to build a common anti-Chinese transatlantic front.

Withdrawal from Afghanistan, however, showed the limits of this approach.

Despite consultations on this sensitive decision, several European allies, mainly Germans and British, have made no secret of their dissatisfaction with US policy on the facts.

“The world is changing. “We are in a crucial rivalry with China,” said President Biden, a day after the last US soldier left Afghanistan. endure him.

Since arriving in the White House eight months ago, Democrats have made it clear that this is a goal that surpasses all others.

And in domestic politics, big financial investment plans are justified by the need to tackle the “Chinese dragon”.

However, after the announcement of the alliance with Australia and Britain, which torpedoed the Paris agreement with Campella for the delivery of submarines, the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking to France Info radio station, said yesterday that “this unilateral, “A rough, unexpected decision is very similar to what Mr. Trump did.”

“Variable geometry”

And when unforeseen events arose in the practice of his international strategy, such as the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip last spring or the sudden collapse of the Afghan army in the summer, the 46th US president looked confused – even annoyed. can get him out of his way.

From Washington's point of view, the AUKUS alliance is not necessarily at odds with Biden's multilateral approach.

“It emphasizes the importance of alliances and partnerships,” said Walter Lohmann, director of Asian studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

According to him, addressing the “Chinese challenge” requires “every good will”.

In this sense, the supply of fire-fighting submarines to Australia, less easily detectable from Beijing, is a “very important” step forward, which in Lohmann's view deserves this little betrayal of the Franco-American relationship.

“At the end of the day, the French are big kids,” he said. “They understand how arms sales work better than anyone,” he told AFP. “They will get over it.”

“But it will be important to maintain a role for France in the future in US strategic thinking in the region, perhaps in parallel,” he explained.

Western countries should probably get used to these changing relations.

The Biden government will indeed favor “alliances with changing geometry depending on its interests,” warns Benjamin Haddad, who fears that Europe is “increasingly secondary.”

Despite his Irish origins and the pro-European and Atlantic prism that has characterized him for years, the US president seems to be confirming more than ever the “axis” towards Asia started ten years ago by Barack Obama – in whose government he was vice president.

Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

Source: politis.com.cy

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