On Monday, French Pres. Emmanuel Macron denounced "new imperialism" in the Asia-Pacific and proposed "a third way – with no intention to bully our partners or to lead them to an unsustainable scheme."
During his two-day visit to Bangladesh, Macron signed deals with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to facilitate loans for infrastructure development and provide Bangladesh with an earth observation satellite system.
France's waning colonial influence in the Asia-Pacific has prompted Macron to desperately claim that PRC efforts to assist regional development amount to new imperialism as if they were similar to aggressive US moves. Such allegations are reminiscent of previous smear campaigns against China's international cooperation, revealing that Western powers unfairly judge Beijing by their standards.
Under its long-standing foreign policy tradition of serving as a balancing power, France seeks to offer a viable alternative for countries not interested in the US-China zero-sum game in the Asia-Pacific. However, even if Paris has refrained from describing China as an adversary, France has used "naval diplomacy" to show Beijing that Chinese actions threaten its overseas national territories.
There's a 7% chance that Emmanuel Macron will cease being President of France before 2027, according to the Metaculus prediction community.