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France and security in the Asia–Pacific: From the end of the first Indochina conflict to today

By Nicolas Regaud

France’s defence- and security-related activities in the Asia–Pacific are often underestimated, sometimes distorted or simply ignored. This paper surveys France’s growing presence in the Asia–Pacific from the Indochina War and efforts to resolve the Cambodian conflict, through to the country’s 21st century contributions driven by strategic engagement related to globalisation, new threats, multilateral regional cooperation and increasingly interconnected strategic zones.

Does France carry weight in the major strategic balance in the Asia–Pacific? The answer to this question is ‘No; not directly’. But if the question is whether France contributes to regional security and to the development of defence and security capabilities in a large number of countries in the Asia–Pacific, then the author believes that the answer is clearly a positive one.