Wed, Jun 13, 2018 - Page 6 News List

France raises military presence in South China Sea

INDO-PACIFIC INTERESTS:The French Air Force is planning its biggest-ever exercises in Southeast Asia, in addition to annual naval visits to the South China Sea

AFP, PARIS

“Faced with China the US obviously plays the main deterrent role, but it’s not pointless or trivial for a power like France, a permanent member of the [UN] Security Council, to take a firm, principled position and carry out concrete actions,” she said, predicting that it would “marginalize China’s position a little bit more.”

Analysts point to another factor for the growing activism: The need to show buyers of French arms that Paris has their back.

In 2016, India agreed buy 36 Rafale fighter jets and Australia signed a deal for 12 French submarines.

“That is also doubtlessly pushing France to be a lot firmer on subjects that, up until recently, were broached with great care,” Niquet said.

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