Vincent Boland: Triple pact reveals how a new Cold War between China and the West is now a reality

Offending French sensibilities is the least of the consequences of Australia’s new trilateral defence alliance with Britain and the US

‘The alliance binds Australia to the US and Britain – in other words to the West – for generations, perhaps at the expense of its Asian allies.’ Picture: Getty

Nobody takes umbrage quite like the French. In the days after Australia, the US and Britain raised the stakes in the West’s confrontation with China by sealing a trilateral defence alliance, France recalled its ambassadors in Washington and Canberra; cancelled a party to celebrate Franco-American friendship; threatened to block talks on an EU-Australia trade deal; and accused the US and Australia of stabbing it in the back.

The spark for this flamboyant diplomatic spat is ...