French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday during a visit to the Netherlands that being an “ally” of the United States does not necessarily mean being a “vassal”, fully accepting controversial comments made on Taiwan.
“It is not because we are allies, that we do things together (…) that we no longer have the right to think for ourselves”, he said during a press conference. in Amsterdam following a meeting with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “And that we will follow the people who are the toughest in a country that is allied with us,” he added in an apparent allusion to Republican Party officials, who are very offensive on China.
Wave of misunderstanding
Emmanuel Macron has sparked a wave of misunderstanding in the United States and Europe by calling on the European Union not to follow Washington or Beijing on the question of Taiwan. Remarks immediately interpreted as a distancing from Washington while the United States has been very committed to Ukraine since the start of the Russian offensive.
“Macron, who is a friend, is with China licking his ass,” added former US President Donald Trump. This former American head of state “is part of this escalation which is sought by some”, lamented the French president, welcoming on the contrary the will of the American Democratic President Joe Biden “to avoid any escalation despite the current tensions. “.
France is not uninterested in tensions around Taiwan, a French diplomatic source had earlier underlined, recalling that a French frigate was sailing in the Taiwan Strait when China conducted its last military exercises to put pressure on the island. .
Mélenchon in support
The leader of La France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, gave Emmanuel Macron “right” on Wednesday. “Welcome to the club,” reacted in a tweet Mr. Mélenchon to the head of state. “But not equidistant. I prefer non-aligned: that excludes the idea of neutrality. And it is good to refuse vassalization by the USA. It just needs to be done,” he added.
Mélenchon has always defended China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. In August, the unsuccessful three-time presidential candidate considered that the visit to the island of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, constituted “a provocation”, considering “that there is no only one China” which “seats among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council”.
“Taiwan is an integral part of China,” he added, using a term defended by the Beijing regime but refused by the authorities in Taipei. He was then thanked on Twitter by the Chinese Embassy, but had drawn the wrath of his environmentalist and socialist allies, members of Nupes.
Earlier in the day, Emmanuel Macron, caught up in the Netherlands by protests against his pension reform, replied that it was necessary to “sometimes accept controversy” to “build paths for the future”. “We are carrying out in the Netherlands as in France difficult reforms which sometimes raise protests”, “anxieties” aroused by the “changes of time”, he conceded in front of the French community in Amsterdam.
His state visit, the first of a French president to the Netherlands for twenty-three years, was again disrupted on Wednesday by a few dozen demonstrators. Two of them, a man and a woman, were arrested as they “ran” towards him when he arrived outside the quantum physics laboratory at the University of Amsterdam, Lex van Liebergen told AFP , police spokesperson.
TV images show the man stopped in his tracks by an aide-de-camp of Emmanuel Macron and brutally tackled to the ground near the president who is facing very strong protest in France due to the pension reform.
“For the honor of the workers, even if Macron does not want to, we are here”, he had time to chant, taking up the song of the anti-Macron protesters in France, before being taken away from strength. About forty demonstrators were also waiting for him when he left the university, brandishing the same banner as the day before in The Hague stating “President of violence and hypocrisy”.
“Spoil” the visit
One of them, French and studying social sciences in Amsterdam, presented himself to journalists as a libertarian. He explained that he wanted to denounce the police “violence” during the demonstrations in France and “spoil” the president’s visit. Emmanuel Macron had already been interrupted the day before, on the first day of his visit, during a speech on Europe in The Hague.
He visited with the king the quantum physics laboratory, a promising technology intended to increase the computing power of computers. The two governments then signed an “innovation pact”, with the key to cooperation in semiconductors, quantum physics and energy, all areas in which the European Union intends to strengthen its independence.
The two governments are also working on finalizing a defense agreement by 2024. Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, accompanied by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, concluded their trip with a visit to the Vermeer exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.