France’s loss is not China’s gain in the Indo-Pacific

China’s official state media lost no time in highlighting the rift in United States-European Union relations brought on by Washington and London’s surprise nuclear submarine deal with Australia.

It began with a September 18 op-ed stating that the newly formed trilateral security partnership, known as AUKUS, has “dealt a psychological blow for Japan, India as Quad members” – referring to the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue that brings together the US, India, Japan and Australia in a China-countering strategic embrace.

Then, on September 21, a columnist for the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece wrote in a commentary that “people used to think that Trump was the US president who inflicted most damage on transatlantic ties and [current US president] Biden would repair them, but now Biden has done something even worse — inflicting more damage by betraying allies.”