October 20, 2021

If the US and EU were divided on China, Aukus ‘betrayal’ just dug the trenches deeper

Source: South China Morning Post

Journalist: Finbarr Bermingham

It was not a phone call from one of his American, Australian or British counterparts that informed the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell about a new Anglophonic defence alliance designed to tackle China.

Rather, one of his colleagues sent him a news story outlining the details via WhatsApp, to which Borrell responded with a curt: “Caray” – a Spanish exclamation loosely translated as “damn” or “ouch” – according to a source close to the event.

The European Union and even France, which lost to Washington a US$66 billion contract to provide Australia with a fleet of nuclear submarines, were kept in the dark up until the news had been leaked.


“Aukus really shows that the focus [on China] is so intense, and the disregard for the collateral damage on other parts of the world. That disregard was enough that they were going to plunge ahead, notwithstanding impact on France or other countries that are our traditional allies on problems like this,” said Townsend.

Read the full story and more from South China Morning Post.


  • Jim Townsend

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    James Joye Townsend Jr. is an adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program. After eight years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for European ...