- Sputnik International, 1920, 21.09.2021
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.

‘I Know It‘: France‘s Macron 100% Sure Australian PM Lied About Submarine Deal

© REUTERS / POOLFrench President Emmanuel Macron delivers his speech at the Quai Branly museum in Paris, France, October 27, 2021.
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his speech at the Quai Branly museum in Paris, France, October 27, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.10.2021
It comes after US President Joe Biden shockingly admitted he had no clue the AUKUS pact would upset Macron that much, being convinced that the French leader “had been informed long before.“
France‘s Emmanuel Macron has accused Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison of consciously lying over ditching a multi-billion-dollar contract for French submarines and opting instead for a new contract with the US and the UK.
It turned out Morrison had been involved in secret talks with Western allies about purchasing their nuclear submarines.

“I don‘t think. I know,“ Macron told a journalist at the sidelines of G20 on Sunday, when asked if Morrison had a tongue in his cheek regarding the submarines. “I just say when we have respect, you have to be true and you have to behave in line and consistent with this value,” he added.

At the same time, he noted that France had “respect and friendship” for Australia.
On Thursday, Macron and Morrison held their first phone conversation since the diplomatic spat broke out, in which the French leader once again noted that Canberra‘s decision had undermined trust between the two nations.
Morrison, however, claimed he did not lie and actually told Macron back in June that the French-supplied submarine wouldn‘t meet Australia‘s needs.

“I was very clear that the conventional submarines were not going to be able to meet our strategic interests and we were going to have to make a decision in our national interest,” Morrison said.

Ironically, it turns out the United States was sure (or at least hoped) France knew what was going on.

“I was under the impression that France had been informed long before … honest to God I did not know you had not been,” Biden told Macron face to face ahead of the G-20 summit in Rome, admitting that the overall events were done in a clumsy manner.

Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside a company building in Shanghai, China April 14, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.10.2021
AUKUS: Will Australia's Fault Lines With ASEAN Limit US' Ambitions to Contain China in Indo-Pacific?
Though Biden noted France was still an an “extremely valued partner“, the submarine drama may further drive Macron‘s ambitions for a more autonomous Europe regarding military and defense policy.
The idea is not new but was first voiced by Macron in 2018, when he pushed for a "true, European army" as the then-US president Donald Trump had triggered a lot of anxiety within the EU by insisting on the NATO guideline that all member states contribute 2% of their GDP to defense. After the AUKUS pact hit headlines worldwide this September, Macron again called on European states to defend their independence from the US.
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