The French President has been left humiliated after Australia pulled out of an agreement to build 12 conventional diesel and electric powered subma
The French President has been left humiliated after Australia pulled out of an agreement to build 12 conventional diesel and electric powered submarines. Australia instead chose to pursue a landmark security pact with the UK and US to counter the growing threats in the Indo-Pacific.
The deal, known as Aukus, will equip the Australian navy with the most up-to-date vessels, including eight nuclear-powered submarines.
Speaking on talkRADIO, Robert Fox, Defence Editor at the London Evening Standard says France has every reason to feel aggrieved but accused French officials of “overpromising and underdelivering”.
When asked if France has good reason to be cross about the situation, Mr Fox said: “In a very French way the answer is absolutely yes, because France always overpromises and under-delivers.
“They have been getting very grand across the Pacific, they have got dependencies, there are roughly two million citizens.
“But, that actually doesn’t make you a top world player in the Pacific – this is the problem.
“At the heart of this is Australia wanting to have a credible counter submarine force against the Chinese.”
The military deal between Australia and France was agreed in 2016 and Mr Fox insists the submarines would not be fit for the modern-day or good enough to rival China in the region.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, he said: “Our love of France is ineradicable.
“Aukus is not in any way meant to be zero-sum, it’s not meant to be exclusionary.
“It’s not something that anybody needs to worry about and particularly not our French friends.”