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“It is important to make sure that the country hears what is happening from the point of view of the Europeans”

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Emmanuel Macron arrived on Wednesday, and completed his official trip to China on Friday. The head of state wishes to place Franco-Chinese relations within the European framework, and hopes that his Chinese counterpart will be able to do so. Bring Russia to its senses. Solve the mystery of the challenges of this journey with Stephanie Palm, research director at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and head of the research program “Law, Justice and Society in China”.

What was Emmanuel Macron’s goal in coming to Beijing?

Given the importance of China, it was crucial for a European leader to go to China. Emmanuel Macron was eager to reconnect with China. The visit is the largest by a Western leader since Joe Biden’s visit to the G20 [en novembre 2022, ndlr].

sequel after announcement

Emmanuel Macron’s idea is to make France and Europe diplomatic representatives who discuss directly with China.

China/US: The Battle of Taiwan

Currently, there is the issue of war in Ukraine, and it is important to make sure that China hears what is happening from the point of view of the Europeans, not just the Chinese.
Dialogue is necessary: ​​the hope that China will become a mediator of peace, distance the country from Russia, the resumption of trade that has been suspended for three years, the resumption of technical dialogue on biodiversity … France, in Europe, wants to maintain balance and independence with the Americans and prefers an open door with China. Emmanuel Macron wants to guarantee some form of independence and prevent China from retreating into a deglobalizing world.

Why did Emmanuel Macron accompany Ursula von der Leyen?

The question is that Emmanuel Macron cannot do all this alone. In the face of a country that is the second power in the world, you have to appear strong. Join the European Union [Ursula von der Leyen et la présidente de la Commission européenne, ndlr] It puts more weight on the scale.

The Americans support Ukraine … but they have “the head in China”

Everything has changed since the war in Ukraine. Macron’s visit is a Franco-Chinese visit that also covers topics about the future of Europe and security. Given the rapprochement between China and Russia, any rapprochement between China and a European country cannot take place without talking about Ukraine and without the President of the European Commission.

sequel after announcement

Since 2019, the European Union has been trying, and succeeding, to have a common voice regarding its China policy. It’s a necessity that hasn’t always been obvious, nor has it been fully won over. This official visit is a well-organized affair between Ursula von der Leyen and Emmanuel Macron.

Can China be a peace broker in the Ukrainian conflict as Emmanuel Macron would like?

Xi Jinping can be a peace agent… but does he want to? He will want it if it is in his interest, but his interest for the time being is to remain ambivalent. China wants to appear as the sole mediator without actually being a mediator. It makes itself desirable and builds the agenda without risk.

Beijing can put pressure on Moscow: China is Russia’s main trading partner, and there is a dependent relationship. Xi Jinping can turn things around, Vladimir Putin is listening to him on the Ukrainian dossier.

European leaders understand the weight of China. This does not mean that they will get what they want, but if they do not go, they will be less likely to get it. Europe wants to keep part of the dialogue, and this is the best way to contribute to peace in Ukraine. If Xi Jinping talks to Volodymyr Zelensky, it will be evidence of the influence of European politics.

sequel after announcement

Why did Emmanuel Macron choose not to mention Taiwan?

If the French President did not mention Taiwan in his speeches, he might have mentioned it in private.

However, Ursula von der Leyen mentioned it during this visit. Emmanuel Macron returns to Earth with an outstretched hand, which will make possible the diplomatic negotiations that began between France and China.

“Taiwan area powder keg”

However, the goal of the French president is to find China’s support for settling the war in Ukraine. Bringing up the dispute with Taiwan was not a good idea.

Emmanuel Macron spoke about the future and so-called technical topics that do not sound political. He mentioned international topics such as the sea and the flag… The idea was to stand out from the American policy that forbids these topics.

The interview was conducted by Louise Mohammadi

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