Following the failure of the AUKUS, France strengthens its ties with Indonesia.
As Paris regroups in the Indo-Pacific after the breakdown of a multibillion-dollar submarine deal with Australia, France and Indonesia signed a strategic partnership agreement on Wednesday that includes increasing defense relations.
France was enraged when Australia cancelled the submarine agreement in September, claiming it had been given no notice that Canberra was negotiating a new defense treaty with the US and Britain, prompting France to reconsider its Indo-Pacific alliances.
In Jakarta, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met with his Indonesian colleague Retno Marsudi to sign an action plan aimed at strengthening the two nations’ “strategic relationship” and improving ties “in defense and maritime matters,” according to Le Drian.
During his two-day visit, Le Drian met with Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, who is leading Jakarta’s ongoing negotiations to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets, but no agreement was reached.
As tensions with Beijing continue to rise, Jakarta has expressed interest in purchasing submarines, corvettes, and other military hardware.
Australia said it had opted to buy nuclear-powered submarines as part of a new security alliance with the US and Britain called AUKUS, to confront a rising China that has been building up its own fleet and putting decades of US military superiority to the test across Asia.
Since then, France has sought to strengthen alliances with long-time allies Japan and India, as well as Southeast Asian nations such as Indonesia, seeking stronger strategic relations in the Pacific region.