French and German Strategies in the Indo-Pacific

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-5-59-67
A. Chikhachev, 
Saint-Petersburg State University, 7–9, Universitetskaya Nab., Saint-Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation.
E. Guliaev, 
Independent Researcher.

Received 05.12.2021. Revised 24.01.2022. Accepted 01.03.2022.

Abstract. This article explores the features of French and German policy in the Indo-Pacific Region (IPR). It is defined that these countries were the first members of the European Union to develop their own regional strategies in 2018–2020, hence it is appropriate to state their high interest in the IPR at the present stage. First of all, the characteristics of France’s approach are given: the emphasis on overseas territories and military capabilities; the desire to maintain contacts with a wide range of regional powers; a variety of initiatives and forms of influence. It is noted that Paris intends to build its regional coalition – the so-called “axis” with India and, until recently, Australia. Besides this, the article summarizes the basics of German policy in the IPR: the intention to keep economic ties along with an increasing willingness to develop political cooperation; the recognition of the leading role of ASEAN in regional processes; the desire to move away from the US–China bipolar confrontation. It is emphasized that in principle, the German government is ready to relocate its naval forces to this theater, but expects to do it as carefully as possible without violating the interests of Western allies or China (as the deployment of the frigate “Bayern” has shown). The authors conclude that the strategies of both countries have very much in common, which allows to discuss possible areas of their defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. Such could be a joint use of French bases (co-basing); the creation of a permanent naval mission or common aircraft carrier groups; the coordination of arms export policies. These measures could become a persuasive confirmation of European strategic autonomy and strengthen Europe’s positioning as an independent player in the IPR, especially after the creation of AUKUS. 

Keywords: France, Germany, European Union, Indo-Pacific, AUKUS, US–China rivalry, defense cooperation, arms trade


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For citation:
Chikhachev A., Guliaev E. French and German Strategies in the Indo-Pacific. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 5, pp. 59-67.

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