Unless the government changes its mind at the last minute, the political future of New Caledonia will be decided on December 12, 2021 during the third and final referendum. Voting will take place almost with general indifference on the part of the French population in mainland France. She is unaware that in addition to the drastic consequences for the population, independence will have a significant geostrategic impact on the Indo-Pacific region, which is today the most conflicted in the world. This theater is directly threatened by a militarily aggressive, culturally expanding and economically oppressive China that wants to consolidate its control over the world ocean and thus international trade (90% of trade is by sea).
→ Read. In New Caledonia, the preservation of the referendum on independence is divided
Due to the importance of the trade exchanges that use it, the Pacific Ocean is a major factor in globalization. It is a vital space in which the maritime flows that irrigate the economies of riparian countries intersect, including the United States and China at the forefront of global powers. Its stunning appearance is due to Deng Xiaoping’s decision in 1978 to open his country to international maritime trade. Now it has reached a level of development, which, if it continues at the same pace, will allow it to take first place by 2049, the date of the centenary of the creation of the People’s Republic.
a growing sea
After a period of applying the principle of « hide your strength, prepare for your time », China, headed by Xi Jinping, embarked on the gigantic project of the « Belt and Road Initiative ». (Navy silk of the twenty-first centuryAnd century) “to boost a sluggish economy. Less susceptible to geopolitical fluctuations, the naval branch has the greatest potential for development. However, to qualify, China must be able to impose its flag and its citizens wherever it has interests in the world. This explains the development of the deep-sea warship, People’s Liberation Army Navy (APL-M), which outnumbers the US Navy in number of units.
To protect its maritime flows around the world, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army needs the support points formed by the numerous overseas trading ports controlled by Chinese companies, the « string of pearls », as well as some large bases. Wisely developed advanced logistics. Such is the case of Djibouti, in the Indian Ocean, in the immediate vicinity of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, which gives access to the Suez Canal, the gateway to Europe; This also applies to Gwadar in Pakistan, located in the immediate vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz through which most of the flow of hydrocarbons passes to China, which is sorely lacking. It should be able to obtain a similar base in the Pacific Ocean in order to ensure the strategic depth beyond the first line of islands.
New Caledonia, an island with multiple geostrategic advantages
New Caledonia has already fulfilled this function perfectly in the recent past. During the Pacific War, the United States largely took advantage of the wonderful advantages offered by this French territory. At the end of 1941, it was clear to the Allies that it constituted a priority target for Japan due to its physical make-up and geographical location which enabled it to control approaches in Australia and New Zealand. Then they decided to bypass the Japanese and protect it. A month after the outbreak of hostilities, 16,800 soldiers landed there. They arranged the three airports that were there and built seven more. The large deep-water port was expanded, and in October 1942 Noumea was selected over Auckland to install the main US naval base and logistical arsenal needed to support amphibious operations in the South Pacific.
The geostrategic advantages of New Caledonia and China at the same distance from it as Japan did not change. However, France does not take naval reinforcement measures in this prominent naval theater. He is a general who assumes the duties of commander-in-chief of the armed forces there, while his replacement with an admiral would be a strong sign of France’s interest in the region. Stop in Noumea from the Somali National Army emerald So in the Pacific in early 2021 it will have another one.
AUKUS was recently created by Great Britain, the United States and Australia in response to the Chinese threat to the region. France, despite being a Pacific rim country, was not notified in advance and at the same time humiliatingly expelled from the diesel-electric « attack » submarine program it was developing for Australia. Nuclear-powered submarines (SNA) with strategic navigation most suitable for the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean were favored by the three nations. In addition, Canadian warships are increasingly involved in the area. We are witnessing the formation of a bloc of the five Anglosphere nations that are already committed to the « Five Eyes » agreement for their intelligence services: Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, the United States and Canada.
→ analysis. New Caledonia, a strategic and desirable region
En naval étant mise à l’écart, la France paie sans doute son manque d’engagement politique marqué par son peu d’empressement au maintien de la Nouvelle-Calédonie en son sein et son manque de vision géostratégique en ne renforçant pas ses capacits Region. The result of the referendum is not only the involvement of the French strategy in the Indo-Pacific region that will be undermined, but also its geopolitical position in the world.