Speaking of Asia Podcast: Europe will not be torpedo-ed from Asia

A decisive factor in the strengthening of cooperation between European countries and countries in the Indo-Pacific region is the United States. PHOTO: REUTERS

Speaking of Asia Ep 6: Europe will not be torpedo-ed from Asia

47:54 mins

Synopsis: Join The Straits Times's associate editor Ravi Velloor, in this series of podcasts as he distils his experience from four decades of covering the continent.

In this sixth episode, he has two special guests - the French ambassador to Singapore Marc Abensour and the newly arrived European Union ambassador, Iwona Piorko.

They discuss the recent Australian decision to drop a contract with France to build diesel electric submarines in Adelaide. Australia chose to go for nuclear powered submarines from either the United States or the United Kingdom and the three nations also announced a new security formation, called Aukus which is described as an Enhanced Trilateral Security Partnership.

The cancellation of the submarine contract greatly upset France, which withdrew its ambassadors to Washington and Canberra to show its displeasure. France's fellow European Union members in the European Union were taken aback, after they had released a major policy paper on the IndoPacific that deserves much more attention.

1. Ambassador Abensour on why the breakdown of the deal with Australia is a breach of trust and consistency in this region? (3:25)

2.Steps being taken to fix this breach of trust while maintaining important relationships with allies (5:27)

3. Ambassador Abensour on the long-term French approach to the Indo-Pacific? (8:08)

4. The EU's approach paper titled the EU Strategy For Cooperation In The Indo-Pacific: Ambassador Piorko on the EU's approach, and how different it is from the US and Japanese approaches (13:15)

5. Can France pursue an Indo-Pacific strategy without close cooperation with the Aukus and Quad powers? (21:19)

6. How Europe views Asean's efforts to cut a deal with China on a code of conduct for the South China Sea (34:50)

Produced by: Ravi Velloor (velloor@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis, Hadyu Rahim and Fa'izah Sani

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim & Fa'izah Sani

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