What will the President of the French Republic take away from his visit to New Caledonia? (24-25 July)
The Indo-Pacific axis.
The main aim of this visit was to show that France is indeed a power in the Indo-Pacific. Two million French people live in this area. The visit to New Caledonia was just one stage, as the President also visited Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.
Emmanuel Macron pledged AUD 300 million for the Pacific region. Half of this will be in the form of grants and the other half in the form of loans. This is a major effort, since it is five times more than in the previous five years. This is accompanied by a stronger military presence. The President announced the arrival of 200 additional military personnel in New Caledonia and the investment of 1.8 billion Australian dollars for the army in the French archipelago. During his visit, three Rafale aircraft were on New Caledonian soil. So China has been warned that it will have to reckon with France in the area. How can we not also think that this is a response to Australia, which, in 2021, cancelled the contract of the century? In 2016, the French company Naval Group signed a contract for the manufacture of French submarines worth 92 billion Australian dollars.