February 25, 2024

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Macron stands by to meet China - French diplomat

Macron stands by to meet China – French diplomat

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron will not back down from comments in China urging the European Union to reduce dependence on the United States, a senior diplomat said on Wednesday.

in Interview with the news outlet Politico And the daily Les Echos, Macron also warned against being drawn into a crisis over Taiwan driven by “American tempo and Chinese overreaction”.

This sparked criticism from some politicians and commentators in Europe and the United States, as former US President Donald Trump accused him of “kissing the ass” of Beijing.

The French diplomat, who asked not to be named, told reporters that the essence of what Macron said, which focused on his innovative project for European strategic autonomy, is clear, and that his position on Taiwan and China has not changed.

“This is something the president absolutely sticks to,” he said of the interview.

However, the diplomat added that Politico’s headline “Europe must resist pressure to become ‘followers of America'” was “sensational” and did not reflect the nuances of Macron’s views.

The diplomat said a French military ship recently sailed through the Taiwan Strait despite Chinese military exercises around the island, as evidence that France has stuck to a staunch defense of international law.

China has never renounced the use of force to bring the democratically governed island under its control.

“France respects the one-China principle, and the president (Chinese President Xi Jinping) said the Taiwan issue should only be resolved peacefully,” the French diplomat added.

Macron and US President Joe Biden agreed on Taiwan, but the French leader thought a meeting between Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California last week – ahead of the Chinese exercises – was a “provocation”, the diplomat said.

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He added that the Republican leadership of the US Congress is “using Taiwan to put pressure on China.” “No, Europe will not be drawn into it, but that does not mean that Europe will withdraw (from the Taiwan issue).”

(Reporting by Michelle Rose) Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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