For several years the strategic center of gravity of the globe, from the Atlantic basin (and sub-Mediterranean basin) has been progressively shifting towards the Asian area and its impressive maritime areas. New tensions and opportunities are concentrating which, mixing with ancient conflicts and consolidated realities, are making it one - if not the main - hub for the future of the entire planet. This immense area, which overlaps rivalries and opportunities, is marked by the presence of players with great potential; many of these are gradually equipping themselves with tools that make their presence systemic.
Among the nations that have adopted a strategy to manage this set of issues, in full harmony with the Cartesian spirit that characterizes it, there is France.
Paris has great interests in the region (as evidenced by the robust delegation of heads of the largest companies across the Alps who accompanied President Macron on his recent visit to Beijing, accompanied by the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen) and a historical presence, which began as early as the eighteenth century in the Indian Ocean and then expanded to the Pacific (and its subsystems) in the nineteenth.
Asia was the terrain of the first decolonization conflict after World War II, that of Indochina, where between 1946 and 1954 the French forces, albeit in very small numbers, fought valiantly, hard, but without luck, against overwhelming communist forces1 losing what was called at the time the 'jewel of the empire'. But France still retains overseas territories, which although with different administrative statutes (administratively, overseas France is made up of: 5 overseas departments (DOM, départements d'outre-mer), which correspond to as many overseas regions (ROM, Régions d'outre-mer); 5 overseas communities (COM, overseas community); 1 overseas territory (TOM, overseas territory); 1 collectivité sui generis (collective sui generis); 1 State-owned property. These cover very vast areas and contribute to making the European Union the entity that has the largest EEZ in the world, counting also those of Spain, Portugal and Denmark2 and that of France which corresponds to 11,7 million km23. This alone is the second in the world after that of the United States. Even if we are not dealing with territorial waters, the management of such vast areas imposes responsibilities and important weights (also considering the Terre d'Adélie, the continental portion of Antarctica claimed by Paris, this surface would increase further).
These areas are not confined to the Indo-Pacific, but are also found in the Western Hemisphere; from North America (St. Pierre et Miquelon), Central America (St. Martin, St. Saint-Barthélemy, Guadeloupe, Martinique) and Southern America (Guianas) and it is, with the exception of Guiana, islands and archipelagos4.
The French presence in the Indo-Pacific appears to be denser in the Indian Ocean subsystem (Mayotte, La Réunion and the TAAF - Terres Australes et Antartiques Françaises, which include Terre Adélie - Paris' claims to land blockade of Antarctica, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Archipelago, Saint Paul Islands and Amsterdam), Îles Eparses - which in turn includes Îles Glorieuses, Juan de Nova, Europa, Bassas da India, and Tromelin Rock).
In the Pacific, there are four entities: the Nuovelle Calédonie, Wallis et Futuna, Polinésie and Clipperton (the latter an uninhabited rock near the western coast of Mexico, which claimed it, and whose attribution to France was the result of the arbitration of Vittorio Emanuele III in 1909)5. In all those overseas lands live nearly three million people, more than 300.000 of whom are non-French.
The megaregion, especially the Pacific sub-sector, represented a very important junction of French security policy and the constitution of the Gaullist 'Force de Frappe'. In fact, between 1966 and 1996, after the closure of the Algerian shooting range of Reggane6 in the atolls of Mururoa and in the neighboring one of Fangataufa (Polynesia), 179 nuclear tests were carried out, of which 41 atmospheric and 138 underground7. For the management of the nuclear test program, fundamental in ensuring the nuclear autonomy of the Hexagon, it has seen the assignment of important military forces, starting with the 5th regiment of the Foreign Legion8 and to devote the overwhelming capabilities of a strategic transport squadron of the Armée de l'Air to it9.
The end of the nuclear test program and the end of the cold war, leads to the demilitarization of that part of the French overseas, with the dissolution of departments and withdrawals of air and naval units and the transformation of the presence forces with a reduced kinetic capacity10 and sustained by rotational forces even if small in size.
We are now witnessing an important reversal of course, for some years, with an increase in military activities of all kinds and rotations of ever greater dimensions and with ever greater frequency and military maneuvers with all allies and partners of the megaregion ((in primis) USA and Australia, but also Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, India, Indonesia)11. Other nations adhering to both the EU and NATO (and the organization itself which has a specific program of dialogue and cooperation with Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea) are increasingly interested in the dynamics of the Indo-Pacific and it imposes coordination between the various existing architectures. The citation of the EU makes it possible to include this option in the Paris strategy and action in the area. In fact, Paris inserts the parameters of European interests within the framework of its own, in the light of a synergy that protects and promotes the community's political and economic interests, in harmony with that of its regional and international allies and partners.
A panoply of documents
The French doctrinal production on security and defense issues is rich and articulated and, as mentioned, also refers to the Indo-Pacific. The last document, in chronological order, is the Military Planning Law 2024-203012 which in addition to planning the French military rebirth, looks, and it could not be otherwise, also to the immense chessboard of the Indo-Pacific, which due to its geographical nature, has an important aero-naval and amphibious dimension, but which also needs land forces. This defense programming document, primarily financial, is combined with other documents, some of which are far-reaching such as the 'Revue nationale stratégique 2022'13. All these documents underline the progressive relevance of the Magaregio and the French imperative to be present there, protect its political, economic, strategic interests, its own citizens and cooperate with allies and partners in stability14. In detail, the French approach is based on a project that began in 2019 and which arose from the guidelines set by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron in May 2018 during his visit to Australia15.
The implementation of this strategy is based on four pillars: the imperative of protection of French territories and populations; a recognized military credibility; The tradition of the French presence in the megaregion; theuse of military and traditional diplomacy, as instruments of influence and prevention for strengthening action with allies and partners.
Under the four pillars various areas of action operate, which are innervated in the general terms of French strategy: strengthening of military assets in terms of knowledge and anticipation, protection, prevention and intervention; fight against proliferation, particularly with regard to North Korea, which is considered a subversive element16 the strengthening of multilateral cooperation17 and as mentioned above, its partnerships with the United States, India, Australia and Japan to ensure collective security that respects international law.
Faithful to the principles ofstrategic autonomy, Paris supports similar actions and choices of its partners in South-East Asia, developing where possible, opportunities for multilateral cooperation, within the framework of the current, and particular, regional security architecture, where there are various sub-regional pacts and understandings; France, a large-capacity military power, has full awareness of the maritime dimension of the megaregion and promotes the French model of state action at sea. In particular, the French armed forces contribute to the national policy of forecasting environmental security in the megaregion, a particularly sensitive issue, in three areas: the analysis of environmental risks; support for targeted scientific programmes; the organization of conferences throughout the area, in order to make our partners aware of the consequences of climate change on security.
However, this doctrinal apparatus does not hide a non-optimal reality and in the past underlined by military leaders; in fact, less than 10.000 soldiers serve in the immense megaregion, some companies of the Armée de Terre in rotation from the Hexagon, a few naval units for patrolling, no air units combat (transport, maritime patrol, liaison and rescue only) and departments of the SMA (Service Militaire Adapté) which have little more than a supplementary role; this when we are witnessing an impetuous arms race by almost all the states of the Indo-Pacific (the presence forces in Djibouti, in the United Arab United States and the Multinational Maritime Force in the Arab-Persian Gulf).
The hope is that in the face of Chinese push that covers every area18, Paris strengthens its structures in short times and terms, as promised by the Minister for the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu19 on the occasion of Shan Gri La conference of 2022 in Singapore, all this within the framework of the no longer avoidable (and/or postponable) remilitarization of France, the EU and NATO.
One aspect strongly underlined by the doctrinal documents is the partnership with the allies and this naturally leads to the discourse on relations with the United States, Beijing's main competitor. If Washington and Paris are solid partners, in the Indo-Pacific they are even more so and the issues of cooperation in security and other issues are at the center of the most recent talks between the foreign policy makers of the two countries20 and this without counting that the first foreign head of state received in the White House, after President Biden took office, was French President Emmanuel Macron21 In addition to the symbolism and the sumptuous welcome, even if it presents sensitive topics such as the war in Ukraine and theInflation Reduction Act, the excellent relations between the two sides of the Atlantic remain alive, as well as frictions, always of short duration22.
Indo-Pacific, China and others
Despite serious structural problems23 the generalized vulgate on regional issues is directed exclusively, and increasingly concerned, towards Chinese actions and ambitions24, several analysts and observers are starting to look with growing curiosity at the dynamics involving India25 where recent developments are raising fears. Also in this case, but with less evidence, the overlaps between the needs of political dialogue and commercial interests, including those of France, are re-proposed26. The protection and promotion of democratic values make relations with local leaders difficult with strong electoral support.
Again, France was ahead of the game, having already included India in its 'Année de…en France' program27, formalized in 1985 (the idea of a year of India in France was born in 1982, during a meeting between Indira Ghandi and François Mitterrand, then on an official trip to India).
Indo-Pacific, France, but not only
As mentioned, France has developed a strategy for the region, but Paris is not alone. Interest in this part of the world has led many of France's other partners to do the same. Many states and international and regional organizations have adopted doctrinal documents to guide their relations with the region28.
Everyone, including France, has a fundamental contradiction, especially with regard to China and its menacing presence and its even more worrying prospects for regional and global projection. Everyone, including France, must find the right pace in relations with Beijing, where if defined on the one hand as a fundamental threat to the security of the planet, on the other there is no desire to waste (those that still seem fruitful) commercial relations with Beijing29. The difficult path of compromise in dealing with Beijing, from time to time and at the same time, partner, adversary and competitor, is fraught with obstacles. Example of this dystonia in relations with China, it is enough to observe the divergence with the words of the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who, although on a joint visit with President Emmanuel Macron, has adopted a much harder line than the head of state French30 and strategic doubts about China remain31, perhaps with an eye already directed to the next, future, role of first woman at the helm of NATO.
A delicate balance for Paris
Alongside the relationship with the USA, France, both in the Indo-Pacific and elsewhere, has its other dogmatic pillar of politics within the framework of the European Union, even if often used as a hauberk to promote and protect national dynamics and interests and this line it has strengthened with the presidency Macron, who in the last trip (the third for him to China) made with the German Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, tries to outline an alternative path to relations with Beijing, trading partner and adversary present and enemy (more or less open) of the near future.
Despite Paris' usual appeal to Europe's 'strategic autonomy', there is strong awareness of the subtle Chinese game of promoting 'decoupling' (also strategic) with Washington and inter-European disintegration, playing on its enormous economic weight , taking advantage of the imbalance in the trade balance between the two blocs, which has reached a 200 billion euro deficit for the EU (since 2020 China has been the Union's first trading partner, supplanting the USA and since 2004 the Brussels bloc has the first trading partner of Beijing, which has a higher GDP) but trying to hide its internal difficulties.
This difficult exercise is made complicated by the aforementioned trade imbalance, Beijing's ambiguous position on the war in Ukraine, rare earths, the events related to the explosion and aspects related to the COVID epidemic, human and ethnic rights (Taiwan, Sinkiang/East Turkestan, Tibet, Hong Kong, Christians and other religious minorities).
The other pillar
In the context of the general reorganization of overseas policies, Paris has launched an important financial programme, which obviously also concerns the French territories in the Indian and Pacific Oceans32. As in other contexts and countries, the COVID epidemic has highlighted weaknesses that existed under the radar, but which were all in all manageable in times of normality, and which instead exploded, sending worrying signals even in areas considered calm by Paris33 and there is a strong fear that these ethnic, social and geographical areas, especially after the start of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, could become the object of the attention of the Russian services to infiltrate and exploit the discontent.
In the Pacific area, exceeded by measure (politically speaking), given the absence of local populations in the third and decisive referendum vote in New Caledonia34, we don't want the Chinese to fan the flames of subversion here35, given what they are doing in the Solomon Islands36 and Paris engages in a massive plan of economic and social support for local populations, 'France Relance'37.
'France Relance', in addition to financing municipalities, individual initiatives and infrastructural programs (it has disbursed almost 5 billion euros in the context of business aid alone), joins one, specific for the Pacific, existing since 1985, 'Le Fonds Pacifique'38 which has as its objective the improvement of the economic and social conditions of those communities far from the hexagon.
Alongside the economic leverage, Paris is re-establishing dialogue with the pro-independence leaders of New Caledonia39, in the light of future steps to be taken within the Fourth Commission of the UN General Assembly, which manages the policies of decolonization and likely to bring out the archipelago of New Caledonia (and that of Wallis & Futuna, which although geographically distant , small and sparsely populated, is part of the same administrative entity) from the list of territories to be decolonized and accompanied to independence.
The victory of the unionist element in New Caledonia brings elements of tranquility for Paris also for the future of French Polynesia, also considered by the United Nations, following a vote in 2013 by the UN General Assembly as a territory not self-governed and as such capable of being able to decide on its future and potentially become an independent state, and whose pro-independence elements clearly awaited a Kanak victory to relaunch such an initiative, which would have seen the expulsion of France from the Pacific chessboard and ignite/ rekindle the annexation claims of the states in the Indian Ocean sub-chequer (Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros, Seychelles and Mauritius) and independence claims in the western hemisphere.
France is an important player in the regional dynamics of the Indo-Pacific and is trying to make up for the lost time for ancient choices and, after a cold period (especially with Great Britain for the affair of the Australian submarines) has strengthened ties with the other players in the region, starting with India (with which, as mentioned, there are huge economic interests ahead) as well as solid ones with the United States, Australia, Japan40.
As expected by some (serious) analysts, the crisis linked to the cancellation of the contract for the problematic French-built conventional attack submarines for the Royal Australian Navy lasted the space of one morning, in real terms, moreover sanctioned by the payment of penalties for the cancellation of the contract by the Albanian Labor government, which replaced the controversial Prime Minister Morrison, which greatly eased the irritation of Paris and gave a new impetus to military cooperation between Paris and Canberra, despite the fact that Australia orient more and more for its purchases towards the USA in primis, South Korea, Spain and Germany to modernize and enhance its arsenals of land, sea and air.
In addition to the action of political understanding and military reinforcement, in perspective, France aims at the social consolidation of its local populations, similar to the policies of Washington and Canberra in the megaregion, confirming itself as a partner, perhaps little considered by some, but certainly of great importance. However, according to the wishes of the Senate, the French strategy for the Indo-Pacific should be more agile, guided by an appropriate political level41 resourced commensurate with its ambitions, co-managed with the DROM-COM (Overseas Departments and Regions - Overseas Collectivities) DOM-TOM (Overseas Departments - Overseas Territories) and tailored to the ambitions displayed by key players in this sector42.
1 Maurice Vaïsse, L'Armée française dans la guerre d'Indochine (1946-1954): Adaptation ou inadaptation, Editions Complexe 1 janvier 2000;
5 To complete the historical picture of the French presence in Asia, we want to mention French India, formally the Établissements français dans l'Inde, which included five enclaves, progressively established between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, geographically separated from each other in the Indian subcontinent by the French East India Company. They were de facto incorporated by New Dehli between 1950 and 1954. The enclaves were Pondichéry, Karikal and Mahé (today in the autonomous territory of Pondichéry), Yanam (now the state of Andhra Pradesh) and Chandernagor (state of Bengal). In 1950, when the progressive cession of these territories to India began, the area measured 510 km2, of which more than half belonged to the territory of Pondichéry with a population of more than half a million people, of which more than half lived in the Pondichery area. Furthermore, in the past, France had a concession in Shanghai - Paris always refused to join the international municipality that governed the city - between 1846 and 1949, in Tienstin between 1860 and 1946 and, between 1898 and 1943, in Kwangchouwan, Hangkow, Samian (1895-1943) and the control of the Paracels Islands, Spratley between 1887 and 1939, administratively united with French Indochina and it is no coincidence that Hanoi has been claiming sovereignty for some time now, confronting itself ever more harshly with the China;
6 La genese des essais nucléaires en Algérie https://elwatan-dz.com/la-genese-des-essais-nucleaires-en-algerie, El Watan, 22.03.2022;
7 Pierre Billard, la grande aventure du nucléaire francais, des acteurs témoignent, Diplomatie et strategies series, l'Harmattan, 2016; Prof. ET Brown, The Consequences of Underground Nuclear Testing in French Polynesia, http://www.atse.org.au/index.php?sectionid=388, ATSE;
8 Activities of the 5th RE (régiment étranger) on the atolls of Moruroa and Tematangi, https://imagesdefense.gouv.fr/fr/activites-du-5e-rei-regiment-etranger-d-infanterie-sur-l-atoll-de-mururoa.html#;
9 Escadron de Transport 3/60 Estérel, "L'Arméee de l'air, des avions et des hommes", Lcl Henri Guyot, éditions ADDIM, September 1992;
10 Les armed forces in French Polynesia, https://www.polynesie-francaise.pref.gouv.fr/Services-de-l-Etat/Defense/Forces-armees-en-PF; Forces armed in New Calédonie https://www.defense.gouv.fr/operations/monde/asie-pacifique/forces-armees-nouvelle-caledonie;
11 French and American soldiers exercising in Japan against the Chinese menace https://la1ere.francetvinfo.fr/nouvellecaledonie/des-militaires-francais-et-americains-en-exercice-au-japon-contre-la-menace-chinoise-1009228.html, FranceTV Info, 15.05.2021; Southern Mer de Chine: Paris and Djakarta en exercice https://asiepacifique.fr/mer-de-chine-france-indonesie-exercice-naval/, Asiepacifique, 13.02.2021; Le Dixmude achève sa mission de «soutex» en Asie du Sud-est, https://www.polemermediterranee.com/Actualites/News/Le-Dixmude-acheve-sa-mission-de-soutex-en-Asie-du-Sud-est, Polemermediterranee, 01.07.2015; Mission 'Pegase 2022' https://air.defense.gouv.fr/armee-de-lair-et-de-lespace/dossier/mission-pegase-2022#:~:text=de%20la%20projection-,L'arm%C3%A9e%20de%20l'Air%20et%20de%20l'Espace,ampleur%2C%20en%20Asie%2DPacifique, Armée de l'Air, 10-18.08.2022; The «diplomatie aérienne» of France en Asie-Pacifique, https://www.lefigaro.fr/international/la-diplomatie-aerienne-de-la-france-en-asie-pacifique-20220921, Le Figaro, 21.09.2021;
12 La loi de programming militaire 2024-2030: les grandes orientations, https://www.defense.gouv.fr/loi-programmation-militaire-2024-2030-grandes-orientations, Ministere des Armées, 06.04.2023;
13 Revue Nationale Stratégique https://ihedn.fr/2022/11/30/revue-nationale-strategique/, SGDN, Ministere des Armées, 30.11.2022;
14 The strategy of French defense in the Indo-Pacifique, https://www.defense.gouv.fr/dgris/enjeux-regionaux/strategie-francaise-indopacifique#:~:text=Le%20minist%C3%A8re%20des%20Arm%C3%A9es%20entend,la%20lutte%20contre%20la%20prolif%C3%A9ration, Ministere des armées, Paris, 2022; La stratégie française pour l'Indopacifique: des ambitions à la réalité, http://www.senat.fr/basile/visio.do?id=r8113317_12&idtable=r8113317_12|r8112654_3|r8112366_5|r8113416_8|r8112433_3|r8112633_31|r8112310_9|r8112517_6&_c=Indopacifique+&rch=gs&de=20220410&au=20230410&dp=1+an&radio=dp&aff=sep&tri=p&off=0&afd=ppr&afd=ppl&afd=pjl&afd=cvn&isFirst=true, Sénat, 25.03.2023;
15 France and Australia can be heart of new Indo-Pacific axis, Macron says, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/02/france-and-australia-can-be-heart-of-new-indo-pacific-axis-macron-says, The Guardian, 02.05.2018; The strategy of France in the Indopacifique, https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/fr_a4_indopacifique_022022_dcp_v1-10-web_cle017d22.pdf, Ministére des Affaires Etrangeres, 02.02.2022;
16 France, it must be remembered, has been part of the United Nations Command since 1950, which brings together all the partners who have rejected Pyongyang's aggression and French military delegates are part of both the Command and the Military Armistice Commission of the UN Command ;
17 France chaired the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) for the two-year period 2020-2022, and participates in various international forums in Asia, such as the Shangri-La Dialogue;
18 China's 1st Military Base In Indo-Pacific Likely Being Developed; Beijing Could Get Its 2nd Facility After Djibouti, https://eurasiantimes.com/china-1st-military-base-in-indo-pacific-likely-being-developed/, Eurasian Times, 03.04.2023;
19 Shangri-La Dialogue speech by Sebastien Lecornu, French Minister of the Armed Forces, https://www.defense.gouv.fr/sites/default/files/tronc_commun/11.06.2022%20Speech%20of%20S%C3%A9bastien%20Lecornu%2C%20minister%20of%20the%20Armed%20Forces%20-%20Shangri%20La%20Dialogue.pdf, Ministere des Armees, 11.06.2022; Sebastien Lecornu, before being appointed minister of the armed forces, had been minister for overseas and managed the difficult dossier of New Caledonia;
20 Secretary Blinken's Call with French Foreign Minister Colonna, https://www.state.gov/secretary-blinkens-call-with-french-foreign-minister-colonna-2/, US DoS, 03.09.2023; Deputy Secretary Sherman's Call with French Foreign Ministry Secretary General Descôtes, https://www.state.gov/deputy-secretary-shermans-call-with-french-foreign-ministry-secretary-general-descotes-5/, US DoS, 16.03.2023;
21 Remarks by president Biden and president Emmanuel Macron of France Before Bilateral Meeting, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/12/01/remarks-by-president-biden-and-president-emmanuel-macron-of-france-before-bilateral-meeting/, White House, 01.12.2022;
22 Berlin, Prague smokes at Macron's US-China comments, https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/berlin-prague-fume-at-macrons-us-china-comments-2/, 11.04.03 Euractiv;
23 E. Morelli, demographic twilight of the Dragon, Domino, April 2023, pp. 98-105; R. Pecori, China risks a new revolution, Domino, April 2023, pp, 106-113; V. Herczegh, G. Friedman, Xi cannot revive the Chinese economy, Domino, April 2023, pp. 114-119;
24 NATO leaders declare China a global security challenge, https://www.defensenews.com/smr/nato-priorities/2021/06/14/nato-leaders-declare-china-a-global-security-challenge/, Defense News, 14.06.2021; EU China relations, https://www.eeas.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/EU-China_Factsheet_01Apr2022.pdf, EEAS, 04.04.2022;
25 Modi's Party Deals Its Main Opposition at Final Blow, https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/04/07/india-rahul-gandhi-conviction-congress-opposition-modi-bjp/?utm_source=PostUp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Editors%20Picks%20OC&utm_term=80522&tpcc=Editors%20Picks%20OC, Foreign Policy, 07.04.2023; What is the BBC Modi documentary and why is it so controversial? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/14/why-is-bbc-report-on-narendra-modis-handling-of-sectarian-riots-in-2002-so-controversial, The Guardian, 14.02.2023; Why Does the US Care More About Taiwan's Democracy Than India's? https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/04/10/rahul-gandhi-india-democracy-modi-us-taiwan-china/?utm_source=PostUp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Editors%20Picks%20OC&utm_term=81594&tpcc=Editors%20Picks%20OC, Foreign Policy 11.04.2023;
26 Le Rafale proche d'un nouveau contrat en Inde: la marine locale le préfère au modèle de Boeing, https://www.challenges.fr/entreprise/defense/le-rafale-proche-dun-nouveau-contrat-en-inde-la-marine-locale-le-prefere-au-modele-de-boeing_838410, Challenges, 09.12.2022; although this is a contract limited to 26 Rafale aircraft, already in service with the Indian Air Force, Dassault's aspiration for subsequent contracts is clear in view of the completion of the Indian Navy's ambitious aircraft carrier program with the powerful and sophisticated, but expensive, aircraft)
27 India is in France, https://www.lemonde.fr/archives/article/1985/06/03/l-inde-est-en-france_2753730_1819218.html#:~:text=L'ID%C3%89E%20d'une%20ann%C3%A9e,en%20voyage%20officiel%20en%20Inde, Le Monde 06.03.1985;
28 Indo-Pacific Strategy Report Preparedness, Partnerships, and Promoting a Networked Region, Department of Defense, June 1, 2019, Washington, DC; The White House, Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States, July 2022, Washington, DC; The White House, National Security Strategy, Washington DC, 2022; The White House, National Defense Strategy, Washington DC 2022; Statement of the NATO Secretary General with representatives of Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_213474.htm, NATO; 05.04.2023; Foreign Policy White Papers, https://www.dfat.gov.au/publications/minisite/2017-foreign-policy-white-paper/fpwhitepaper/index.html, 2017, DFAT, Canberra; Australia's strategic view of the Indo-Pacific, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document/EPRS_BRI(2022)698917, European Parliament 22.08.2022; Charting a course through stormy waters. The EU as a maritime security actor, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document/EPRS_BRI(2021)689342, European Parliament, 07.03.2023; Canada launches Indo-Pacific Strategy to support long-term growth, prosperity, and security for Canadians, https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2022/11/canada-launches-indo-pacific-strategy-to-support-long-term-growth-prosperity-and-security-for-canadians.html, Global Affairs Canada, 27.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX; Johnson B., Dunne J., Understanding China's efforts to undermine partnerships in the Pacific, https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/understanding-chinas-efforts-to-undermine-partnerships-in-the-pacific/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20The%20Strategist&utm_content=Daily%20The%20Strategist+CID_c57d68aad6abcfeb4edfb3f8244c1a47&utm_source=CampaignMonitor&utm_term=Understanding%20Chinas%20efforts%20to%20undermine%20partnerships%20in%20the%20Pacific, The ASPIStrategist, ASPI, 07.03.2023; EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eeas/eu-strategy-cooperation-indo-pacific_en, EEAS, 21.02.2022; Questions and Answers: EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_21_4709, EU Commission, 16.09.2021; Pinto PM, El mar de la China Meridional. The dispute for the Indo-Pacific, https://www.ieee.es/publicaciones-new/documentos-de-opinion/2021/DIEEEO110_2021_MERPER_China.html, IEEE, 05.10.2021; Indonesia and its ascension in the Indo-Pacific. Analysis of its growing geopolitical importance (reedición), https://www.ieee.es/Galerias/fichero/docs_analisis/2023/DIEEEA11_2023_JAVGIL_Indonesia.pdf, 10.02.2023 IEEE; Pedro N., La India, global potencia en ciernes y clave del Indopacífico, https://www.ieee.es/Galerias/fichero/panoramas/PE2022/Capitulo5.pdf, IEEE, 03.03.2023; EU Maritime Security Strategy. Still navigating "slow ahead", https://www.ieee.es/Galerias/fichero/docs_analisis/2023/DIEEEA26_2023_ABEROM_Estrategia_ENG.pdf; 12.04.2023-XNUMX-XNUMX, IEEE;
29 Airbus to Double Production in China as It Moves Ahead With New Orders, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/06/business/airbus-china-double-production.html, NYT 07.04,2023; Airbus To Build Second Assembly Line at Chinese A320 Site; https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2023-04-06/airbus-build-second-assembly-line-chinese-a320-site?utm_hsid=450021401&utm_campaign=Air%20Transport%20Perspective&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=253397647&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8JMxUxTg7spgraflRLdFyKOks8iZo9IoHDV8Fmrbc-d7Y8aCS4LFezvgcEZQv4qX4fqwh7G3wmG9isbskLUeWGwHP1AMNZHA8wJDnof9WkzwRd1wY&utm_content=2&utm_source=hs_email, Ainonline 06.04.2023;
30 EU's von der Leyen: EU-China trade relationship increasingly imbalanced, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/eus-von-der-leyen-eu-china-trade-relationship-increasingly-imbalanced-2023-04-06/, Reuters 06.04.2023;
31 Europe's Dangerous Dependence on China https://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/89448?utm_source=ctw&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=titlelink&mkt_tok=ODEzLVhZVS00MjIAAAGK96pwzNNu_1V9GDKFq8krydJxoR5TP3TmzF0PB3iieSnJVW3mXnQXFgxqHAtwq_nrixmq4vbXyb5vMAO3mGyAQjK8OV953i3YiEcdfAk, Carnegie Europe, 04.04.2023; in relations with Beijing and Taiwan, Paris has fluctuated a lot, going from the sale of weapons systems to the island of which China claims sovereignty, (Taïwan, une île maudite pour les industriels français de l'armement, https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/taiwan-une-ile-maudite-pour-les-industriels-francais-de-l-armement-755693.html#:~:text=Pr%C3%A8s%20de%2025%20ans%20apr%C3%A8s,de%20227%20millions%20d'euros.&text=D%C3%A9cid%C3%A9ment%20Ta%C3%AFwan%20est%20bien%20une,industriels%20fran%C3%A7ais%20de%20l'armement, La Tribune, 26.10.2017) to actions that Beijing deems unacceptable and provocative (Exclusive: In rare move, French warship passes through Taiwan Strait https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-france-warship-exclusive-idUSKCN1S027E, 24.04.19 Reuters);
32 Les outre-mer et la politique maritime nationale, http://www.senat.fr/basile/visio.do?id=a/commission/outre_mer/missions/les_outre_mer_et_la_strategie_maritime_nationale.html&idtable=a/presse/cp20230127.html|a/commission/outre_mer/missions/les_outre_mer_et_la_strategie_maritime_nationale.html|a/commission/prospective/index.html|a/commission/outre_mer/index/actualites_2021_2022.html|a/international/groupes_amitie_cr/groupe_france_etats_unis_2.html|a/international/groupes_amitie_cr/groupe_france_vanuatu_iles_du_pacifique_ambassadeur_seam.html|a/international/groupes_amitie_cr/groupe_damitie_france_vanuatu_iles_du_pacifique_entretien_avec_m_francois_xavier_leger_ambassadeur_aux_fidji_kiribati_nauru_tonga_et_tuvalu_15_juin_2022.html|a/presse/cp20220726a.html&_c=Indopacifique+&rch=gs&de=20220410&au=20230410&dp=1+an&radio=dp&aff=sep&tri=p&off=0&afd=ppr&afd=ppl&afd=pjl&afd=cvn, Sénat 24.02.2022;
33 'Explosive' Covid riots paralyze France's Guadeloupe https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211122-explosive-covid-riots-paralyse-france-s-guadeloupe, France 24, 22.11.2021; Angry anti-vaccine protesters attack Guadeloupe hospital bosses https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20220106-guadeloupe-anti-vaccine-protesters-attack-hospital-bosses, FRY 01.06.2022;
34 Nouvelle-Calédonie: les independents appealed to non-participation in the 3rd referendum, https://www.rfi.fr/fr/france/20211021-nouvelle-cal%C3%A9donie-les-ind%C3%A9pendantistes-appellent-%C3%A0-la-non-participation-au-3e-r%C3%A9f%C3%A9rendum, FRY 21.10.2021;
35 Magnani E., Indo-Pacific: China continues to expand its influence in small and weak states, https://www.difesaonline.it/geopolitica/analisi/indo-pacifico-la-cina-continua-ad-espandere-la-sua-influenza-negli-stati-piccoli, Online Defense 27.05.2022;
36 Magnani E., Indo-Pacific: the crises in the archipelagos that appeal to Beijing https://www.analisidifesa.it/2021/12/indo-pacifico-le-crisi-negli-arcipelaghi-che-fanno-gola-a-pechino/, Defense Analysis 21.12.2021;
37 France Relance et aides économiques https://www.polynesie-francaise.pref.gouv.fr/Dossiers/France-Relance-et-aides-economiques
38 Le Fond Pacifique https://www.polynesie-francaise.pref.gouv.fr/Actions-de-l-Etat/Le-Fonds-Pacifique;
39 Pro-independence Kanak delegation to attend talks with French government on New Caledonia's https://www.nationalia.info/new/11531/pro-independence-kanak-delegation-to-attend-talks-with-french-government-on-new-caledonias, Nationalia 29.03.2023;
40 A. Bondaz, La France, une puissance d'initiatives en Indo-Pacifique, https://www.frstrategie.org/publications/notes/france-une-puissance-initiatives-indo-pacifique-2022 , Foundation for strategic research, Paris, 2022;
41 The Ministry of Overseas Territories has merged, albeit with a certain autonomy, into the Ministry of the Interior;
42 La stratégie française pour l'Indopacifique: des ambitions à la réalité https://www.senat.fr/notice-rapport/2022/r22-285-notice.html#:~:text=La%20strat%C3%A9gie%20fran%C3%A7aise%20pour%20l'Indopacifique%20devrait%20%C3%AAtre%20plus%20agile,grands%20acteurs%20de%20cette%20zone, Sénat, 25.01.2023.
Photo: ministère des Armées