Neo-Colonial France Back to the South Pacific & Why? @cleopaskal University of Montreal. Chatham House.

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02-15-2017

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Neo-Colonial France Back to the South Pacific & Why? @cleopaskal University of Montreal. Chatham House.

"...If France’s past relationship with its Pacific territories is anything to go by, the current imperative of metropolitan France will only lead to more involvement in the region. France needs investment, global leverage, and a back-up plan in case the EU fails. Flirting with China in French Polynesia is likely to continue as long as the money flows, even if only to mainland France.

At the same time Paris will get more involved in regional organizations, such as the Pacific Island Forum, with the aim of trying to direct – along with Canberra and Wellington – key policy directions. It will use these various levers to try to handle tricky issues, such as the outcome of the New Caledonia vote – if it happens.

There is very little chance France will give up the strategic positioning and defence and security installations in New Caledonia, whatever the outcome. While all this old-school power-playing might seem clever to planners in Paris, it may not be smart over the long term as it is not likely to endear France to the people of the Pacific. The Kanak people of New Caledonia have a lot more friends across the region that a Parisian administrator will ever have, not only with other Pacific islanders but with foreign countries that would be happy to trip up France. Updated colonial approaches won’t work.

- See more at: https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/france-dives-back-pacific#sthash.4sfSAoVh.dpuf..."

https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/france-dives-back-pacific

Feb 16, 04:37 AM
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