French President Emmanuel Macron has said that Europe should take an independent stance on Taiwan, rather than following the US or China. He made the remarks during his visit to China last week, where he met with President Xi Jinping and discussed trade, climate change and regional security.
Macron said that Europe has no interest in escalating the conflict in Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory and has threatened to use force against if it declares independence. He said that Europe should become a “third pole” that respects China’s “unity” but also defends its own values and interests.
“We don’t want to get into a bloc versus bloc logic,” he said in an interview with French newspaper Les Echos and Politico Europe. He added, saying Europe “should not be caught up in a disordering of the world and crises that aren’t ours”.
China welcomed Macron’s remarks as a recognition of its “one China” principle and a rejection of US interference. China has been conducting military drills around Taiwan and flying warplanes into its air defense zone, in response to Taiwan’s president visiting the US and receiving support from some US officials.
Macron’s comments reflect his vision of a more sovereign and assertive Europe that can balance between the US and China, without being dragged into their rivalry.