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New Caledonia says it won’t be ‘trojan horse’ for big powers in the Pacific

Louis Mapou, President, New Caledonia after attending the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting. 15 July 2022, Suva (Fiji strong>

New Caledonia’s pro independence president, a French territory in New Caledonia, said that he does not want New Caledonia to be used as a “trojan horse” in the Pacific islands. This was in the midst of global power jockeying to position in the region.


New Caledonia attended the Pacific Islands Forum meeting at Fiji. This was its first summit group meeting since 2016. This was due to concerns about geopolitical rivalry between China, the United States.

Louis Mapou ( pictured), president of New Caledonia was elected in 2021 as the first indigenous Kanak leader pro independence. He said that he wanted New Caledonia stand out in the ocean, and to break through the “corridor of Europe”. It is approximately 20,000 km from France.

This is New Caledonia’s future. Mapou stated that New Caledonia’s future was not in Europe during a Friday interview in Suva.

He said that France required New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and New Caledonia in order to defend its Indo Pacific strategy from other powers.

It’s not our project. Our goal is to get more involved in the area.


Mapou said that Forum leaders had discussed the dangers of militarisation in Pacific. He mentioned the Solomon Islands Security Agreement with China and the need for unity as “big powers outside our region are pursuing us”.

He said that he didn’t want New Caledonia to become a trojan horse for interests not in New Caledonia’s best interest.

He stated that France’s growing military interest in the Indo Pacific is impacting its stance regarding independence for New Caledonia. Paris wants to keep a Pacific presence.

He stated that Paris was a crucial determinant and decisive element in discussions about New Caledonia’s future, referring to the negotiations set to begin after December’s failed independence referendum.

Kanak protested against the final independence referendum, as France refused to delay it during the COVID-19 pandemic. This had a major impact on the 96.5% vote to ‘No’.

Mapou stated that the secretary of the Pacific Islands Forum had led an election observers team that found that the conditions under which the referendum was held were not respectful.

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