New Delhi: France has affirmed that to stabilise the Indo-Pacific region, it is committed to building partnership with its key strategic partner India besides Japan, Australia, Indonesia and Singapore.
According to the French National Strategic Review that was released on November 9, “France’s role as a balancing power in the Indo-Pacific must be reaffirmed. To this end, France is committed to building partnerships with countries in the Indo-Pacific region, notably India, Australia and Japan, as well as Indonesia and Singapore. It develops its capacities of anticipation and strategic signalling, vis-à-vis its competitors, reaffirms and strengthens its position in the politico-military multilateralism of the region, by increasing its training capacity and, if necessary, by promoting the emergence of ad hoc structures. France will also promote the implementation of EU’s strategy for the region and its partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).”
Expressing concern over PLA’s ambitions and its impact on the region, the French National Strategic Review also referred to the modernisation of China’s military apparatus that has enabled the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to support an increasingly assertive strategy, including on the military front, whether in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly with regard to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, or in other regions of the world.
“The modernisation of China’s military apparatus continues and enables the PLA to support an increasingly assertive strategy, including on the military front, whether in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly with regard to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, or in other regions of the world where Chinese diplomacy calls to clients, especially in Africa. The political nature of the PLA and the civil-military integration deployed in the technological, economic and information fields enable an unprecedented scope of hybrid actions. The latter is only constrained in practice and, at this stage, by the PRC’s decision to challenge the international security architecture from the inside,” according to the document.
As a key document, the National Strategic Review will set the baseline for debate on France’s 2024-2030 national defence budget which will come before the French parliament early next year.