Wikimedia CommonsThe French president stated that the “great risk” facing Europe is that it “becomes embroiled in crises that are not ours, preventing it from building its strategic autonomy.” “We don’t want to fall into block-versus-block logic,” he added. Referring to the tensions surrounding Taiwan, President Macron noted that Europeans must ask themselves whether “it is in our interest to accelerate the crisis in Taiwan.” In his opinion, it would be a wrong decision to think that Europeans need to become imitators in this matter and follow the US agenda. “Europe needs to reduce its dependence on the US and avoid being drawn into a confrontation between China and the US over Taiwan,” he said. with the widespread criticism of American and European politicians and the media pointing to the breaking up of transatlantic solidarity, especially during the ongoing Chinese military maneuvers around Taiwan, which are a response to the meeting between the president of the island and the American speaker of the House of Representatives. The United States does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan. A large part of the French media and international policy experts assessed that the French leader caused concern among Western allies. Mike Gallagher, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Communist Party of China, called Macron’s statements “embarrassing, disgraceful and geopolitically naive.” Another Republican, Chris Smith, felt that Macron’s claims “look like a betrayal of democratic Taiwan.” He added that if France “is really going to abandon democratic states for a brutal communist regime, the United States should reassess its position towards France.” During his visit to China, the French president visited the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, where he in which he reiterated the need for a firm attitude towards Russia, which he had mentioned in earlier talks with Xi Jinping. During the meeting with Xi, he appealed to “speak some sense to Russia”, and Ursula von der Leyen, who accompanied him on this visit, reported that after During the talks, the Chinese leader expressed his readiness to talk directly with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Macron and Xi signed a statement calling for peace in Ukraine and opposing nuclear escalation. Other statements also touched on issues of economic cooperation. Increased access to the Chinese market for French pork and an order for 160 Airbus aircraft were confirmed, among others. Memorandums of cooperation between Chinese and French companies were also signed, including in the field of civil nuclear energy, wind energy, agriculture, transport and the cosmetics market. China and France also agreed to “increase contacts on strategic issues, with particular emphasis on dialogue between the Southern Theater of Operations of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (responsible for the South China Sea) and the command French Forces in Asia-Pacific.” Reuters, Politico, KR
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