Paris: – France announced an independent policy for the Indo-Pacific two years ago and now has given indications of becoming more active in the region. French President Emmanuel Macron announced an independent Ambassador for the Indo-Pacific sector. Christophe Penot, a senior official in the French foreign department, has been given an independent charge for the Indo-Pacific region. Only last month, France had indicated that it was keen on participating in the QUAD cooperation, formed to counter the Chinese activities in the Indo-Pacific region.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced an independent Indo-Pacific policy, two years ago. At the same time, Macron had mentioned the Chinese activities to dominate the region. It had clarified that France would form a strategic front with India and Australia, to counter the Chinese domination. After that, France took rapid steps to strengthen its strategic cooperation with India and Australia. France had even sent its warship to the South China Sea in the last year. A few months ago, France participated in the comprehensive naval exercises, ‘Rim of Pacific’, organised with an initiative from the United States.
Against this background, France appointing an independent Ambassador, for the Indo-Pacific sector, becomes significant. The French sources informed that this appointment came directly from the office of the French President. Therefore, the indications are clear that France intends to become more active in the Indo-Pacific region. It is believed that with this appointment of a senior official from the foreign department, France has delivered the message that it is taking cognisance of the activities in the Indo-Pacific region very seriously. The new Ambassador Christophe Penot will take charge in a few days; he has functioned as the Ambassador to Australia, before this.
Last year, France took an aggressive stand consistently, against the aggressive and expansionist activities of China. France has criticised China over the issues like Hongkong and Uyghurs along with the Chinese activities in the South China Sea. Castigating China over the Coronavirus pandemic, France had supported the proposal for an inquiry into the pandemic. At the same time, France had said that Indian position in the Indo-Pacific region is vital and had assured that France would increase cooperation with India regarding the Indo-Pacific sector.