Emmanuel Macron vows new 'Indo-Pacific axis' with Australia to maintain balance

Tactical Frog

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1,403
Likes
1,821
Country flag
French President Emmanuel Macron wants Australia and France to underpin a "new Indo-Pacific axis" committed to security, the free market and the rule of law to preserve the regional balance of power in the face of China's rise.

Mr Macron also flagged a need to deepen dialogue between Australia, France and India as three key Indian Ocean powers, and expressed confidence domestic French resistance to free trade agreements would not derail a pact between Australia and the European Union.

Mr Macron's whirlwind visit to Sydney has delivered a significant boost to ties between Australia and France, with new agreements on co-operation on defence, cybersecurity, education, innovation and climate change.

At a press conference with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Mr Macron said France with its territories New Caledonia and French Polynesia in the South Pacific and Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean had a shared goal with Australia be "at the heart of a new Indo-Pacific axis".

"I would very much like France, given it is the last European member of the EU being present in the Pacific after the Brexit ... to be at the heart of this project," he said.

"Our joint responsibility is to build this strong Indo-Pacific axis both to protect our economic interests as well as our security interests. This region is crucial for the stability of the world."

While Beijing's growing influence is causing regional anxiety, Mr Macron maintained greater co-operation with Australia should not be construed as anti-Chinese.

"I think China's rise is very good news for everybody," he said.

"Now what's important is to preserve the rules-based development in the region, and to preserve the necessary balances in the region.

"It's important with this new context not to have any hegemony in the region."

Mr Macron made the case for Australia, France and India to play a "central role" in ensuring regional peace and prosperity.

"This partnership is a very important way to progress, because altogether with India and all the partners, this not an initiative against or in reaction to [China]," he said.

"That's a positive initiative to say 'we have something in common'. We do want to favour free movement in the Indo-Pacific region. We do want to preserve our common sovereignty."

Mr Macron's comments are timely as New Delhi recently knocked back Australia's request to join annual trilateral naval exercises next month between India, Japan and the US despite efforts to revitalise the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the four countries.

Asked about a free trade agreement between Australia and the EU, Mr Macron suggested the protectionist concerns of France's powerful farm lobby had been overcome, paving the way for talks to start soon.

"We are not wasting any time," he said.

Mr Macron said the Pacific was a "treasure" in terms of biodiversity and Australia and France would work together on several projects to stop "climate disruption", including studying coral reef resilience and solar energy training programs for island nations.

Building on the $50 billion submarine contract, the two leaders also highlighted greater defence cooperation, including Australian warships joining the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier group for patrols and the signing of a logistics agreement to greater interoperability between the two militaries.

The two countries will also work more closely on cyber security including sharing intelligence and responding to attacks.
 

ezsasa

Mod
Joined
Jul 12, 2014
Messages
15,139
Likes
46,607
Country flag
First Merkel was being projected as the "big dog" in europe, she didn't bite. Now macron is being projected is it?
 

Tactical Frog

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1,403
Likes
1,821
Country flag
First Merkel was being projected as the "big dog" in europe, she didn't bite. Now macron is being projected is it?
Merkel became big boss because France was extremely weakened economically and thus politically. What is happening now is that Merkel is weakened politically in her own country, while France is getting out of economic danger zone. So the balance of power between France and Germany is somehow returning to normal, with a common willingness to reach consensus on most issues and then armtwisting everybody else if needed.
 

abingdonboy

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
4,001
Likes
9,264
Country flag
French President Emmanuel Macron wants Australia and France to underpin a "new Indo-Pacific axis" committed to security, the free market and the rule of law to preserve the regional balance of power in the face of China's rise.

Mr Macron also flagged a need to deepen dialogue between Australia, France and India as three key Indian Ocean powers, and expressed confidence domestic French resistance to free trade agreements would not derail a pact between Australia and the European Union.

Mr Macron's whirlwind visit to Sydney has delivered a significant boost to ties between Australia and France, with new agreements on co-operation on defence, cybersecurity, education, innovation and climate change.

At a press conference with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Mr Macron said France with its territories New Caledonia and French Polynesia in the South Pacific and Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean had a shared goal with Australia be "at the heart of a new Indo-Pacific axis".

"I would very much like France, given it is the last European member of the EU being present in the Pacific after the Brexit ... to be at the heart of this project," he said.

"Our joint responsibility is to build this strong Indo-Pacific axis both to protect our economic interests as well as our security interests. This region is crucial for the stability of the world."

While Beijing's growing influence is causing regional anxiety, Mr Macron maintained greater co-operation with Australia should not be construed as anti-Chinese.

"I think China's rise is very good news for everybody," he said.

"Now what's important is to preserve the rules-based development in the region, and to preserve the necessary balances in the region.

"It's important with this new context not to have any hegemony in the region."

Mr Macron made the case for Australia, France and India to play a "central role" in ensuring regional peace and prosperity.

"This partnership is a very important way to progress, because altogether with India and all the partners, this not an initiative against or in reaction to [China]," he said.

"That's a positive initiative to say 'we have something in common'. We do want to favour free movement in the Indo-Pacific region. We do want to preserve our common sovereignty."

Mr Macron's comments are timely as New Delhi recently knocked back Australia's request to join annual trilateral naval exercises next month between India, Japan and the US despite efforts to revitalise the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the four countries.

Asked about a free trade agreement between Australia and the EU, Mr Macron suggested the protectionist concerns of France's powerful farm lobby had been overcome, paving the way for talks to start soon.

"We are not wasting any time," he said.

Mr Macron said the Pacific was a "treasure" in terms of biodiversity and Australia and France would work together on several projects to stop "climate disruption", including studying coral reef resilience and solar energy training programs for island nations.

Building on the $50 billion submarine contract, the two leaders also highlighted greater defence cooperation, including Australian warships joining the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier group for patrols and the signing of a logistics agreement to greater interoperability between the two militaries.

The two countries will also work more closely on cyber security including sharing intelligence and responding to attacks.
India is still very dubious about Australia, the US has been trying to forge closer ties between the “democracies of the region” but India has always been lukewarm towards Australia’s inclusion in any grouping India is a part of.

Australia still seems to be playing both sides and seems overly reliant on China.
 

sthf

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
2,271
Likes
5,256
Country flag
Aussies have become too timid to be of any use. French are the only Europeans left with a set of balls and even that will be questionable if Taiwan were to ask for Rafales in future and France refuses.
 

ezsasa

Mod
Joined
Jul 12, 2014
Messages
15,139
Likes
46,607
Country flag
Aussies have become too timid to be of any use. French are the only Europeans left with a set of balls and even that will be questionable if Taiwan were to ask for Rafales in future and France refuses.
Aussies behave in such a way because of their defence doctrine, they support Europe and America in their conquests and they get naval protection in return.

This has been in place since the end of Second World War.
 

sthf

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
2,271
Likes
5,256
Country flag
they support Europe and America in their conquests and they get naval protection in return.
They used to support Europe and America. Now they are one Trumpian statement away from becoming China's little play thing.
 

ezsasa

Mod
Joined
Jul 12, 2014
Messages
15,139
Likes
46,607
Country flag
They used to support Europe and America. Now they are one Trumpian statement away from becoming China's little play thing.
In fact they almost became China’s during Obama’s reign. During the last year they seem to be coming back into American fold.
 

sthf

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
2,271
Likes
5,256
Country flag
In fact they almost became China’s during Obama’s reign. During the last year they seem to be coming back into American fold.
I doubt it. Trump and Turnbull are doing some weird ass tango. Let's see where this goes but I have little faith in Australia.
 

abingdonboy

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
4,001
Likes
9,264
Country flag
I doubt it. Trump and Turnbull are doing some weird ass tango. Let's see where this goes but I have little faith in Australia.
Realtiscally what capabilities does AUS really hace of value to France and India? Australia isn’t a regional power, why does France need them?

India and France should focus on building their capabilities together in the IOR, Australia is always going to be a bottleneck in this process and if Paris continues trying to force this it could derail the entire process.
 

sthf

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
2,271
Likes
5,256
Country flag
@abingdonboy As they say in real estate, LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.

India can easily check mate Pearl of Strings and any naval mobilization if it can get access to Cocos Islands. It is the only piece left.

Plus, even the deployment of a single IA battalion on Aussie soil will be huge message to Chinis that two can play that game.
 

Tactical Frog

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1,403
Likes
1,821
Country flag
Realtiscally what capabilities does AUS really hace of value to France and India? Australia isn’t a regional power, why does France need them?

India and France should focus on building their capabilities together in the IOR, Australia is always going to be a bottleneck in this process and if Paris continues trying to force this it could derail the entire process.
Sir, aren’t you a bit harsh with the Australians ? This is a country with giant mineral deposits, no debt (I think), giant economic exclusive zone in the Pacific and Indian Ocean. They seem determined to build a strong navy too with two LHDs, Shortfin Barracudas and new frigates (though the subs will take a long time). Definitely it is better to have Australia by your side than neutral .

But I am not following a lot Australian - Chinese relations, so I may be missing a lot of things explaining India’s reservations.
 

binayak95

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2011
Messages
1,337
Likes
2,593
Sir, aren’t you a bit harsh with the Australians ? This is a country with giant mineral deposits, no debt (I think), giant economic exclusive zone in the Pacific and Indian Ocean. They seem determined to build a strong navy too with two LHDs, Shortfin Barracudas and new frigates (though the subs will take a long time). Definitely it is better to have Australia by your side than neutral .

But I am not following a lot Australian - Chinese relations, so I may be missing a lot of things explaining India’s reservations.
Chinese investment in Australia is massive. And there have been serious allegations of Chinese interference in their political system.

The massive investments are such a liability that after the famous Asian NATO exercise in 2007 (Malabar 2007-02) the Chinese pressured Australia and they buckled. Aussie FM Stephen Smith announced at a press conference with the Chinese FM Yang Jiechi announced Australia's withdrawal from QUAD. A public slap to India, Japan and US.
 

Latest Replies

Global Defence

New threads

Articles

Top