French Interests and Policies in the Far East

French Interests and Policies in the Far East

French Interests and Policies in the Far East

French Interests and Policies in the Far East

Excerpt

To describe the political development of the French colonial empire in the years 1936-8, one should begin with the territorial possessions -- the Federation of Indo-China, with a population of over 23 millions; the concessions in China (at Shanghai, granted in 1849; at Hankow, granted in 1886 and renewed in 1902; and at Canton and Tientsin, dating from 1861, all of which France still holds); the territory of Kwangchowwan and the islands of the China Sea; New Caledonia, the condominium of the New Hebrides, and the Oceanic archipelagoes. Such a study of territorial possessions, which should precede any discussion of a general character, is omitted here since they are well known and have been the subject of numerous works. On the other hand, it has seemed desirable to study the spread of the French language in the Far East, and to note which schools, universities and institutions are extending its use and upholding French traditions and French customs.

The second section of the work is a review of the recent trade relations of France and Indo-China with China, Japan, Siam, the Malay States, Australia and New Zealand. It gives an account of French investments, and makes particularly detailed reference to investments in China, both because of their importance and because China, for so many years a field of competition for the great powers, is today claimed by Japan as its own market and as a source of raw materials.

These facts and records are, however, only an introduction to the third section, which fulfills the chief aim of this study -- an interpretation of French policy in the Pacific during the years 1936, 1937 and 1938, which saw the development of the SinoJapanese conflict. The military and naval defenses of the French empire in the Far East and in the Pacific, and the lines of naval and aerial communications have been considered in their turn. The interdependence of Pacific and Mediterranean problems appears very clearly. Finally, the appendices include the texts of the principal treaties, conventions, agreements and bilateral pacts which determine French diplomatic action, always in con-

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