China hails Emmanuel Macron amid criticism over his Taiwan remarks
Following a three-day visit to China, French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said that the European Union should distance itself from Chinese-American tensions over Taiwan. Now, his comments are reportedly being hailed by the Chinese as a "brilliant decision." Notably, Macron's statement drew widespread criticism from the international community, but he stood by his remarks during a visit to the Netherlands on Wednesday.
What did the French president say?
In an interview with Politico, Macron said, "The worse thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic [Taiwan issue] and take our cue from the United States (US) agenda and a Chinese overreaction." He also called for "strategic autonomy" in Taiwan, hours after meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping and reportedly discussing the matter "extensively" with him.
Chinese social media users, media outlets praise Macron
According to AFP, an opinion piece published in the state-owned Chinese newspaper Global Times said the remarks were "clearly the result of Macron's long-term observation and reflection." "Some people want to construct a false Europe in public opinion, masking true European voices and interests," it added. Social media users in China too praised the French president for "daring" to talk openly about autonomy.
Macron kissing Jinping's ass: Donald Trump
However, Macron's comments about American policy on Taiwan left the Western allies bristling, with former US President Donald Trump accusing him of "kissing Jinping's ass." The White House, though, played down Macron's comments, saying that Joe Biden's government remains "comfortable and confident in the terrific bilateral relationship with France." Taiwan, too, took a similar stand but said it "noted" Macron's statement.
Taiwan doesn't want to be a part of China
To note, self-governing Taiwan does not see itself as part of mainland China and has its own constitution and electoral system. However, the Chinese government says Taiwan is a breakaway province and would eventually come under its control. The US acknowledges that there is only one Chinese government, but on the other side, Biden has vowed to intervene militarily if China attacks Taiwan.Share this timeline