Opinion

The United States and the Indo-Pacific pact against China

Joe Biden Aukus

Nine months after arriving at the White House, US President Joe Biden has shown two foreign policy positions: first, he called on Europe to form a common front against China, but his proposal clashed with the interests of France and Germany, Europe's two main powers, both of which advocate better relations with China and Russia

Second, their interest in developing a new Cold War against the China-Russia axis. Despite a strategic nuclear arms pact with Russia, his administration's Aukus security strategy agreement with the UK and Australia once again opens the door to a nuclear escalation in the world.

For a connoisseur of US foreign policy, the slamming of the door against France's interests in the submarine construction business with Australia, within the framework of the agreement with the UK and Australia in the Indo-Pacific region, is not surprising because of France's refusal to openly support the disputes against China.

With this move, the US is making it clear that its new axis in the region to confront China's expansion will be with the UK, India, Australia and Japan. Indeed, with its defeat and exit from Afghanistan, it was foreseeable that the pendulum of its strategic interests would swing to this region and the South China Sea to confront China's expansion. 

At the NATO summit it became clear that the UK share the same interests in advancing the confrontation against China and Russia, while France and Germany are not in favour of disputes against China and Russia. Both countries have business dealings with those powers. In Germany's case, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, through which Russia supplies gas to Europe via Germany, has just been completed. This deal generated heated controversy with the United States. France, for its part, has economic cooperation agreements with the Russians and the Chinese.

Merkel Macron Putin
AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN  -   German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Elysee Palace in Paris on December 9, 2019

It was for this reason that at the NATO summit, French President Emmanuel Macron said: "we must not confuse objectives, NATO is a military organisation, but our relations with China are not only military" (...) "China is a great power with which we work in important international areas"

At that summit it became clear that the EU, on the one hand, was receptive to US proposals, given that it needs US support and military cooperation. On the other hand, it negotiates with the Chinese because it needs to strengthen its economic and technological relations

The ambivalence of the Franco-German axis in its confrontational policies towards China is partly due to the fact that the EU has a trade agreement with the Chinese that consolidates them as its second trading partner. For their part, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and other European countries have trade agreements with China and the main European ports are in Chinese hands.

According to Tom Fowdy, a British political and international relations analyst, "one of Europe's strategic mistakes was to believe that the United States would actively work with them despite disagreements with the Chinese". "Europe is no longer relevant to the United States, as it was for decades" and notes that "this is a new era, the centre of gravity is not in Europe, it is in Asia. Therefore, "the US no longer sees Europe as a priority and its priorities are in the Indo-Pacific".

It should not be forgotten that three months ago, Macron and Merkel met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to strengthen cooperation links between the three powers, and one of the issues they discussed was the new land, maritime and satellite silk road. China proposed the creation of a four-way platform between China, Germany, France and Africa. Their proposal was to join their digital silk road plan to shake off US dependence on the new technology revolution..

José E. Mosquera, colombian essayist and writer