PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron has caused a stir by saying that Europe has no interest in accelerating the conflict in Taiwan and should become a “third pole” independent of both Washington and Beijing.
Political players on both sides of the Atlantic criticized the president’s position as being too accommodating to China, just as he is holding military exercises in Taiwan.
In an interview with French newspapers Les Echos and Politico during his three-day visit to China last week, Macron said that «the worst thing would be to think that we Europeans have to become fans of this issue and adapt to the American pace or a Chinese overreaction.» ”. .”
China regards democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control. The Taiwanese government strongly opposes China’s claims.
German deputy to the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, Norbert Roettgen, said in a tweet that Macron had «succeeded in turning his trip to China into a PR coup for Xi and a foreign policy disaster for Europe.» He added that the French president was «increasingly isolating himself in Europe.»
In a video posted on Twitter, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., drew parallels to the war in Ukraine, in which Macron hopes to enlist China’s help.
If Europe doesn’t «choose sides between the US and China over Taiwan, then maybe we shouldn’t choose sides either.» [on Ukraine]”said the Republican senator.
Pascal Confavreux, a spokesman for the French Embassy in the United States, said Macron’s comments were misinterpreted.
“America is our ally with whom we share our values,” he said on Twitter.
The Elysee did not respond to requests for comment.