France appoints Ambassador Christophe Penot to his new post in the Indo-Pacific

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Australia, due to its proximity and economic ties to China, has been seen as the vanguard of Chinese relations with the West, but is now seen as a key regional ally for international partners in their efforts. attempts to preserve the rule-based order. The United States has also significantly stepped up its embassy presence in Australia after adding more than a dozen positions in order to use Canberra as a base for its Indo-Pacific operations.Loading

The coronavirus has catalyzed European concern over Chinese government actions in Hong Kong, the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, military incursions into the South China Sea and political interference.

Penot warned in June that international standards were increasingly called into question and that this deconstruction “will likely accelerate with the current COVID crisis.”

“France and Australia have a particular responsibility here to ensure that the post-COVID world does not get worse and, if possible, that it becomes better than the world before,” he said. .

France has over $ 176 billion in foreign direct investment across the Indo-Pacific, which stretches from the African coast to the Coral Sea and includes French territories with a population of 1.6 million. The area accounts for 17 percent of France’s exports and 14 percent of its imports. Paris’ Indo-Pacific strategy notes that “the center of gravity of the world economy has shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific”.Parly told the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore last year that trade wars, technology wars and wars of words were “just the beginning” of a sharp decline in international relations.

“It doesn’t take Kissinger to see the building blocks of a global confrontation take shape here in Asia,” she said.

“History is filled with great competition for power. The slowly assembled parts of a tragedy don’t mean tragedy is inevitable, but pretending to ignore what’s looming doesn’t help. “

France is the last European power to change its vision of China and the region. In September, Germany, Europe’s largest economy, which has long enjoyed close ties with Beijing, released its first Indo-Pacific strategy focused on increasing diplomatic pressure on China.

“We want to help shape [the global order] so that it is based on rules and international cooperation, and not on the law of the strong, ”said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

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