France is seething after being shoved aside by Australia in favor of new defense deal with the United States. On Wednesday, Australia said it would scrap a multi-billion French-designed submarine deal, reached in 2016, and go with the nuclear-powered subs offered by the Americans, who are partnering with the U.K. in the transaction. The French were reportedly caught completely off-guard. “This brutal, unilateral, and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told French radio. “I am angry and bitter. This isn’t done between allies.”
Just two weeks ago, Australia had reconfirmed its old deal with France. French officials called it “a knife in the back” after they’d established what they thought was “a relationship of trust with Australia.” The new move likely comes as a result of growing concern over China’s exponential presence in the Indo-Pacific region.