The French industry will survive this. It is even possible that the inconsistency of the United States and its manner of treating its allies will bring it new clients, but what is being damaged today, really, seriously, gravely, is the solidarity of the great democracies, because for Europeans, for all Europeans and not only for France, the message is clear.

We do not need you in our arm wrestle with China, Mr. Biden has just told us. Australia is indispensable to us because it is, along with India and Japan, one of the three regional players with whom we will build a common front against Beijing. Great Britain brings us the support of a military power that has long since chosen to follow us without ever questioning our decisions. What is more, with these two countries, we form an Anglo-Saxon trio, but you, the Europeans, with your twenty-seven identities, your twenty-seven priorities and your only army, that of a single country, France, which has never accepted our primacy, you are nothing but a unnecessary embarrassment, a quite useless headache we can easily do without.

Of course, neither Mr. Biden nor his Secretary of State used these words, but they can be heard perfectly well in this decision by the United States, facing China, to choose as its only partner from the old world the only country that has opted for an exit from the European Union.

Yes, that is what the United States has just told us, “we don’t need you”, and the worst thing is neither the poor manner in which they have done this to the Union, nor the incredible shamelessness with which they have, in passing, ousted the French industry for their benefit. After all, there could be no other reason, only the Reason of State here, an imperative sweeping away any other consideration, but unfortunately there is nothing else here but a zero degree of political intelligence and a distressing strategic blindness whose sole beneficiary is Mr. Xi Jin Ping because…

Faced with such a powerful dictatorship whose military strength is growing day by day, faced with this most populous country in the world which is on the way to becoming the world’s largest economy, faced with a regime that has put high technology at the service of mass surveillance and threatens Taiwan after having crushed Hong Kong and imprisoned a million Uighurs, what should be done?

The answer is obvious, and in better days, Mr. Biden himself has given it, saying he wants to renew and strengthen the alliance of democracies. Faced with this dictatorship cemented by its nationalism and aspiring to historical revenge on the West, the two largest democracies, the United States and the European Union, must oppose their unity and the protection of their markets.

The Europeans understood this so well that many months ago they were working to define a common policy for the Indo-Pacific region. They did so with all the more determination because the sanctions taken by Beijing against the main political groups in the European Parliament and its entire sub-committee on human rights had accelerated the awareness of the 27 and closed their ranks.

For the Parliament, there is no longer any question of ratifying the investment agreement that Berlin rushed to sign last December with China. After having been at the forefront of the defense of German exports to China for so long, the CDU-CSU members themselves no longer want to sign anything with the Chinese regime and have gone so far as to join a front of the European right, the Greens, the Social Democrats and the centrists of Renew Europe against the arrogant brutality of Mr. Xi.

The alliance of democracies was being established in Brussels, but it was on the eve of the publication of the Union’s report on the Indo-Pacific that the United States turned its back on the Europeans, and it was on the day after the President of the Commission announced the Union’s desire to build a European pillar of the Atlantic Alliance that the Americans announced that the alliance of the major democracies was now Australia, UK, US (the Aukus).

For all those, and I am one of them, who were pushing the Parliament and the Union to get out of naive optimism about the commercial relations with China and to stand up together with the United States against a dictatorship that wants to make this century a Chinese century, the pill is bitter.

All the work has to be taken up again because the neutralist temptation will inevitably resurface in Europe, because anti-Americanism, pacifism and the short-term interests of powerful exporters will converge in a refusal to take sides between the United States and China. I am already hearing that this fight does not concern Europe. We are already hearing that we should stop raising our voices against Mr. Xi and instead take up our dialogue with him. There it is in the air like a debacle of the democracies because the Aukus has just put the last nail in the coffin of trust between allies already very much compromised by the silence of George Bush in the face of the Russian invasion of Georgia, the Syrian abstention of Barack Obama and the questioning of the American defensive umbrella by Donald Trump.

Watch out! Everything has gone wrong between the two sides of the Atlantic. Watch out! The great democracies are diverging, this divergence is threatening their military alliance as never before, and the mental disarray is becoming so great that we end up confusing the total imperfection of American democracy for the total perfection of the Chinese dictatorship.

Watch out! Mr. Xi now has every reason to dance for joy, and Mr. Biden must therefore repair his blunder as quickly as possible by solemnly declaring that democracy needs a European power, which, to be on an equal footing with the dictatorships, must emerge, that the United States approves of the Union’s desire for strategic autonomy, and that it is prepared to rebuild the Atlantic Alliance so that it rests on two pillars, the American and European.

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