World: France, South Pacific nations to combat 'predatory' fishing as China extends reach

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“To better cope with the predatory logic we are all victims of, I want to boost our maritime cooperation in the South Pacific ,” Macron said after a video conference with the leaders of Australia, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and representatives of New Zealand and other Pacific nations . “We are going to launch a network of coastguards for the South Pacific around three main objectives: information sharing, operational cooperation and training,” he said. Macron did not name China in his final remarks.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday France and South Pacific nations would launch a South Pacific coastguard network to counter " predatory " behavior, which an adviser said was aimed at illegal fishing , as China expands its maritime reach . Though tiny in land mass, Pacific islands control vast swaths of resource-rich ocean called Exclusive Economic Zones, forming a formidable boundary between the Americas and Asia. "To better cope with the predatory logic we are all victims of, I want to boost our maritime cooperation in the South Pacific ," Macron said after a video

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that France and South Pacific nations would launch a South Pacific coast guard network to counter "predatory" behavior, which an adviser said was aimed at illegal fishing, as China expands its maritime reach.

Emmanuel Macron wearing a suit and tie: French President Emmanuel Macron © LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images French President Emmanuel Macron

The United States and allies including France, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, are actively expanding their activity in the Pacific to counter China's influence.

Though tiny in land mass, Pacific islands control vast swaths of resource-rich ocean called Exclusive Economic Zones, forming a formidable boundary between the Americas and Asia.

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PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday France and South Pacific nations would launch a South Pacific coastguard network to counter " predatory " behaviour, which an adviser said was aimed at illegal fishing , as China expands its maritime reach . "We are going to launch a network of coastguards for the South Pacific around three main objectives: information sharing, operational cooperation and training," he said. Macron did not name China in his final remarks. Asked whether the policy was aimed at China 's expansion, a French presidential adviser said it

France ’s president has spoken of the creation of a new South Pacific coastguard network to counter “ predatory ” behavior, aimed primarily at preventing illegal fishing , without naming China specifically. Speaking on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron said partners, including the US, France , Japan, Australia and New Zealand would step up their activities in the South Pacific amid increasing Chinese assertiveness. Without mentioning China , Macron said that a South Pacific coastguard network would be launched “to better cope with the predatory logic we are all victims of.”

"To better cope with the predatory logic we are all victims of, I want to boost our maritime cooperation in the South Pacific," Macron said after a video conference with the leaders of Australia, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and representatives of New Zealand and other Pacific nations.

"We are going to launch a network of coast guards for the South Pacific around three main objectives: information sharing, operational cooperation and training," he said.

Macron did not name China in his final remarks. Asked whether the policy was aimed at China's expansion, a French presidential adviser said it targeted illegal fishing that was "for the most part due to private actors."

China's fishing fleets -- from privately owned craft to commercial trawlers belonging to publicly listed companies -- have headed deeper into Southeast Asian waters in search of new fishing grounds as stocks thin out closer to home.

They have ventured into disputed waters, causing diplomatic rows with countries around the South China Sea but also as far away as Argentina.

France, which has island territories spanning the Indo-Pacific including Reunion in the Indian Ocean and French Polynesia in the Pacific, has boosted defense ties with Australia and India as part of a move to counter Chinese influence in the region.

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