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Opinion | The Real Submarine Affair: The Struggle in China Steps Up | Israel today


If it turns out that the emerging alliance between the US, Britain and Australia is gaining strength and credibility, it will be effective not only in deterring Beijing, but also in restoring the status of American deterrence everywhere, including in the Middle East.

There is also relatively good news from Asia - and it may be good for Israel as well. The bad news focuses on China's growing power. The good ones are derived from the deep and profound recognition, among all the factors involved, of the grave danger that the assertive and aggressive China poses in the global arena in general, and especially in Asia. Of particular importance is the willingness of the Biden administration to deal with this danger, to prepare for it in appropriate alliances and to curb it, even if it requires forceful measures. This willingness is not trivial. Although the US has been aware of the problem for many years, it has only recently begun to formulate policies to curb the dangerous trend that China is openly displaying, since its current president - Xi Jinping - came to power.

In view of the escalation of the Chinese threat, Australia has decided to cancel a huge deal with France, amounting to about $ 60 billion, for the purchase of 12 advanced diesel submarines. This dramatic move, ostensibly a submarine deal and an American-British-Australian alliance, must be seen against the background of the growing Chinese threat in the global arena and its particularly severe revelations in Asia itself. Along with China's massive reliance on the international waters of the South China Sea, through the construction of artificial islands and military bases, China has suppressed with typical predation the limited freedoms it has pledged to allow in Hong Kong. Its threats against Taiwan have also escalated.

The commander of the US Army Indo-Pacific Command warned in his Senate testimony about six months ago that a Chinese invasion is not only possible, but that Chinese threats are expected to materialize in the next six years. The other factors in Asia, led by India, Japan and Australia, are very concerned, in addition to the direct victims of Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

US President Joe Biden at the UN General Assembly, Photo: EPI

In parallel with the square framework that the US has with the three most senior partners in the region, with the participation of India, Japan and Australia - a few days ago, much more cohesive and operative partnership was launched, which may complement and strengthen it - the one between the US, UK and Australia.

Allegedly, this is only a submarine deal, but the main thing is the joint construction of eight nuclear submarines worth tens of billions of dollars, in an arrangement that reflects not only a common interest, but also a deep partnership.

China has good cause for concern, and France has understandable anger and frustration.

For Australia, it is a need to secure a powerful backing in the face of the growing severity of the Chinese danger, despite the brave economic ties with China, which is Australia's main trading partner.

The alliance between English speakers is based on a common cultural foundation, a common heritage in world wars and deep feelings of trust and gratitude.

The United States' exceptional confidence in Britain, which enabled the British navy to equip itself with nuclear submarines decades ago, is now also being applied to Australia.

French Foreign Minister // Photo: Reuters,

In addition to China, which is set to be hit by the new partnership, France is also being hit, and apparently India and Japan are also hit. France will indeed be hit very hard by the economic and strategic spheres. The loss of the tens of billions of dollars of employment will severely hurt employment, and will be particularly painful in the era of the Corona recovery. Strategically, the New Testament pushes France's global pretensions even further to the margins. The French foreign minister and defense minister called the cancellation of the deal and US behavior "a knife in the back", and a breach of trust intended to "push aside a European ally".

France returned its ambassadors, canceling a celebratory event marking the 240th anniversary of the battle in which the French navy helped the Americans defeat the British. The French are also disappointed that the British are gaining economic and strategic advantages, especially after Brexit, which weakened Europe both in its territory and in the world arena. India is trying to preserve freedom of maneuver between the crystallizing blocs, but it is doubtful that it will be severely harmed, as those who want to deal with China cannot without deep cooperation with this giant Asian power. As part of that maneuvering freedom, it is not surprising that the foreign ministers of France and India have agreed to deepen the strategic partnership. India is also a partner in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, established in 2001, with the participation of China, several Muslim countries from the former Soviet Union, Pakistan and more recently Iran. It also operates Russian nuclear-powered submarines. Japan is threatened by China and North Korea, and has cause for concern as well. For Russia, for its part, it seems that any deepening of American involvement in the region, and any strengthening of alliances between countries that fear China, only serve its needs.If the US is educated to calm its fears and tighten ties, the Japanese will have no reason to fear this alliance.

It all depends on the US

Biden is expected to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly with India and Japan leaders in the White House, in an attempt to allay their concerns and deepen the partnership. It all depends on the determination and wisdom of the United States.

If it turns out that the alliance formed under its leadership is gaining strength and credibility, it will be effective not only in deterring China, but also in restoring the status of American deterrence everywhere, including in the Middle East.

There is even a chance that you will also recover on the Iranian issue.

Israel will have a special reason to celebrate, if it turns out that Washington is once again choosing partners based on a combination of the proximity of values ​​and the strategic benefit.

One last thing for Israelis blessed with a long historical memory and longing for healthy poetic justice: how refreshing to hear the French engage in betrayal and stabbing in the back from the suffering side, after their serial and nasty contribution on the operating side.

Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2021-09-23

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