After “Aukus”, France seeks to strengthen its strategic relations with India

Weakened by the trilateral Aukus security pact between America, Australia and Britain, France is seeking to strengthen its strategic partnership with India in the Indo-Pacific. The leaders of the two countries, Emmanuel Macron and Narendra Modi, had a telephone conversation on Tuesday 21 September, during which, according to the Elysée, they “reaffirm their shared desire to act together in an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific space, including within the framework of Euro-India relations and European work in the Indo-Pacific”. The press release shows that “This approach aims to promote regional stability and the rule of law, while avoiding any form of hegemony.”

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The United States is not mentioned, but one easily reads the responses to “betrayal” American. French Head of State reminded “France’s commitment to contribute to strengthening India’s strategic autonomy, including its industrial and technological base, within the framework of the close relationship based on trust and mutual respect between the two strategic partners”.

This paragraph is important because India, which is Washington’s ally in the Quad (a quadrilateral security dialogue between the United States, Australia, Japan and India in the Indo-Pacific) and ally France through a strategic partnership, is seeking to modernize its conventional ship fleet and equip itself with six submarines. nuclear power. New Delhi aims to strengthen the security of its maritime facade to counter China’s expansionism and to reduce the vulnerability of its land borders. The two Asian giants share a 3,500 kilometer border in the Himalayas, and India has never forgotten its crushing defeat in the Sino-Indian war of 1962. The final episode of their rivalry was played in the Indian state of Ladakh, where, for eighteen years. month, the two armies had faced each other.

“France could be an option”

Narendra Modi needs partners to carry out his project of building six nuclear-powered attack submarines, dubbed the 75 Alpha, approved in 2015. So far, the United States has always resisted in the name of non-proliferation. Did America end this taboo with Aukus? Can New Delhi claim the same benefits granted to Australians? Otherwise, Indian analysts assure that the Indian Prime Minister will be interested in switching to France.

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