During his visit to French Polynesia, the President of the Republic spoke about an other French archipelago in the Pacific: New Caledonia.
From Tahiti, the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, had a few words for New Caledonia which he visited in 2018.
He referred to the upcoming referendum. On 12 December, New Caledonians will have to decide whether they want to remain in France or be independent. Independence or remaining in France,” said the President, “each one will decide in conscience, but as I said in Nouméa, France would be less beautiful without New Caledonia” (…) Whatever happens, it will be necessary to build, between now and June 2023 ” (…) the institutions of a destiny that will have to remain common”.
Whatever the result of the vote, France will remain there since the independentists themselves wish to sign partnerships with France. The concept of independence-association is often mentioned…
Woe betide the little ones…
Emmanuel Macron then declared that France was an Indo-Pacific power. “Here,” he said, “the confrontation between the two great world powers is at stake. You are at the heart of wars, pressures, influences that will grow. Being French here is an opportunity. Although the State claims to be neutral, Emmanuel Macron clearly wants New Caledonia to remain French.
“In the times that are opening up,” he declared, “woe betide the small, woe betide the isolated, woe betide those who will suffer the influences, the incursions of hegemonic powers that will come to seek their fish, their technologies, their economic resources. In other words: it is better to be part of a big country than to be independent by being very small. It is clear that this part of the speech concerns both French Polynesia and New Caledonia.