Saturday 4th of December 2021

easy fix...


US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron will meet next month as the countries work to repair relations following a diplomatic brouhaha that broke out over a security pact with Australia.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, France and the United States said the two leaders spoke by phone and agreed to meet in Europe at the end of October.

The French ambassador to the US will also return to Washington next week, the countries said, after Paris recalled its envoy in anger about the security partnership between the US, UK and Australia.

“The two leaders have decided to open a process of in-depth consultations, aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence and proposing concrete measures toward common objectives,” the statement said.


The Biden administration drew the ire of the French government last week when it announced a security partnership with the UK and Australia that excluded the European Union country.

The agreement, which will see Britain and the US help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, led to the nixing of a conventional submarine deal between the French and Australian governments.


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different games...


Joe Biden says he is not seeking to start a new Cold War. Scott Morrison says we can avoid a new Cold War. 

Perhaps they could start by changing the language of Cold War. 

We are not approaching a Cold War — not as we understood it. Indeed, old style Cold War containment of China is not possible. For one thing, China is not the Soviet Union. It is more powerful, economically strong; it is entwined with a global system of power in ways the Soviets were not.

China is approaching an authoritarian superpower and that is going to change our world. How do we deal with it? First of all, by better understanding China and this moment.

There is a tendency to see China as a revisionist power set on upending the global order. Certainly, with his public statements President Xi Jinping can sound like a revisionist. He has ignored international rulings to claim disputed territory. He has threatened force to bring Taiwan to heel.

He believes he is a man of destiny. As he says: "No force can stop the Chinese people and the Chinese nation forging ahead." By 2049, Xi says, China will be a "major world power with pioneering global influence".

But is this overthrowing the order or working within it? Far from rejecting the institutions of international power, China has been an enthusiastic participant. It has joined the major global bodies — among them the World Trade Organisation and the World Health Organisation.

China learnt well from Western powers

It has embraced multilateralism and global norms. The international order has underwritten China's rise. Xi Jinping himself has presented China as a champion of globalisation and multilateralism at the very time when America under Donald Trump was withdrawing from it.

As the Rand Corporation think tank pointed out in a study in 2018, there is nothing straightforward about China's role in the world. China's engagement with the global order, it says, is a "complex and contradictory work in progress".

Rand wrote that China sees "multilateral institutions as important, if not essential, for the achievement of its interests". 






la pommade...

President Emmanuel Macron of the French Republic and President Joe Biden of the United States of America spoke on September 22, at the request of the latter, in order to discuss the implications of the announcement on September 15. The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners. President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard.

The two leaders have decided to open a process of in-depth consultations, aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence and proposing concrete measures toward common objectives. They will meet in Europe at the end of October in order to reach shared understandings and maintain momentum in this process. President Emmanuel Macron has decided that the French Ambassador will return to Washington next week. He will then start intensive work with senior US officials.

President Biden reaffirms the strategic importance of French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, including in the framework of the European Union’s recently published strategy for the Indo-Pacific. The United States also recognizes the importance of a stronger and more capable European defense, that contributes positively to transatlantic and global security and is complementary to NATO.

In the framework of their joint fight against terrorism, the United States commits to reinforcing its support to counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel conducted by European states.


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