FRANCE’S INDO-PACIFIC STRATEGY AND THE ROLE OF VIETNAM

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Hanh Thi Nguyen
Linh Hoang Vo

Abstract

The Indo-Pacific has partially replaced the term Asia-Pacific and emerged as a geo-economic and geostrategic concept over the last decade, with Japan, Australia, the United States, and India launching their respective plans. As a resident power and a long-time partner, France seized the opportunity. In May 2018, the French Indo-Pacific strategy was initiated during President Macron’s state visit to Australia and released as an official document a year later, making France the first European power to adopt such a strategy. To unveil the driving forces behind French policies and the roles of France in the region, this article employs major theories in international relations (realism, liberalism, and constructivism). In particular, the authors analyze France’s tactical actions concerning like-minded partners and a rising China, addressing how France can protect its interests and amplify its leverage in the region amid Sino-American tensions. The paper specifies several differences between the French approach and other major countries. Last but not least, given the importance of the Franco-ASEAN links mentioned in Section Three of the official strategy, the article also clarifies recent developments in their relationship, focusing on the role of Vietnam in France’s overall scheme.

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How to Cite
Nguyen , Hanh Thi, and Linh Hoang Vo. 2023. “FRANCE’S INDO-PACIFIC STRATEGY AND THE ROLE OF VIETNAM”. Journal of Liberty and International Affairs 9 (3):435-55. https://doi.org/10.47305/JLIA2393533tn.
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Author Biographies

Hanh Thi Nguyen , Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, Vietnam

Ms. Nguyen holds a Ph.D. in International Relations (IR) from Université Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. Currently, she serves as the director of the Center for Cooperation and Franco–Asia Pacific Studies (CECOFAP) and is a lecturer at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam. Ms. Nguyen specializes in the history of IR and politics, focusing on Franco–Vietnam connections. She has contributed to various publications, including "A History of Vietnam’s Integration in Modern Times: The Case of Franco–Chinese Conflict over the Sino-Tonkinese Border (1885-1895)," published in SUVANNABHUMI, Busan University of Korean Study, and "Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam-China Relations: History and Issues," featured in Southeast Asian Studies. Additionally, Ms. Nguyen has been involved in compiling monographs and workbooks covering topics such as French–Vietnamese diplomatic relations, European policies with Vietnam, and the history of IR.

Linh Hoang Vo , Technical Assistance for the ARISE+ Programme, Vietnam

Ms. Vo graduated from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, specializing in International Politics & Diplomacy. Her primary research areas include European society and politics, global governance, and foreign policy. She has published her first study on Normative Power Europe and its application in climate governance in Vietnam’s Journal of European Studies. Additionally, Ms. Vo conducted research on the Indo–Pacific Strategy of the European Union through a project funded by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Currently, she serves as a project officer for the EU-funded Technical Assistance under the ARISE+ programme in Vietnam.