December 9, 2023

AMSTERDAM (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron commented on his printed remarks on China and Taiwan that raised questions after he visited Beijing final week, insisting Wednesday that his views haven’t modified.

“The place of France and the Europeans on Taiwan is identical. We’re for the established order, and this coverage is fixed,” Macron informed reporters in Amsterdam close to the top of a two-day state go to to the Netherlands. “It hasn’t modified. It’s the coverage of 1 China and the peaceable settlement of the query.”

He was referring to remarks printed Sunday from an interview with French newspaper Les Echos and Politico Europe. The remarks elicited doubts about whether or not Macron’s views had been according to the European Union’s place on Taiwan’s standing. Beijing claims that the island is a Chinese language territory that have to be introduced beneath its management, by drive if essential.

“The query we have to reply, as Europeans, is the next: is it in our curiosity to speed up (a disaster) on Taiwan? No,” Macron was quoted as saying within the interview. “The worst factor could be to assume that we Europeans should grow to be followers on this subject and take our cue from the U.S. agenda and a Chinese language overreaction.”

Macron stated he spoke to U.S. President Joe Biden earlier than he traveled to China. A string of international politicians have visited Taiwan in current months, together with then-U.S. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and quite a few politicians from the EU.

The French chief addressed different subjects throughout his journey to the Netherlands. Earlier Wednesday, Macron stated that protests in France and the Netherlands had been a social worth that needs to be paid as governments within the two nations push forward with reforms.

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“We should generally settle for controversy,” Macron stated. “We should attempt to construct a path for the long run.”

He was talking to members of the French group in Amsterdam, on the second day of a state go to that has been dogged by small protests towards his deeply unpopular pension reform, which can increase the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The reforms have sparked large and generally violent protests in France. Within the Netherlands, farmers and their supporters protested for months about plans to rein in emissions of nitrogen oxide. At occasions final 12 months, Dutch farmers used tractors to blockade grocery store warehouses, torched bales of hay alongside roads and dumped rubbish together with manure and asbestos on highways.

A populist, pro-farmer political social gathering made main features in current provincial elections within the Netherlands.

“Typically in France we expect that we’re the one nation the place there are protests,” Macron stated in his speech in Amsterdam. “You who dwell right here know very properly that there’s additionally a robust, profound protest motion right here.”

Earlier within the day, police tackled and detained a protester who ran, shouting, towards Macron as he arrived at a College of Amsterdam science campus.

It was the second straight day that protesters focused Macron. On Tuesday, demonstrators shouted and held up banners firstly of a speech in The Hague.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated that free speech is a crucial proper however he regretted the protests.

“We’re hosts, so that you don’t need that,” he stated, standing alongside Macron on the Amsterdam Mayor’s official residence.

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Earlier, French and Dutch ministers signed an settlement to strengthen cooperation in strikes to develop digital expertise and make the nations’ industrial sectors extra sustainable.

The Pact for Innovation and Sustainable Development goals to advertise partnerships in areas together with “semiconductors, quantum, vital uncooked supplies, sustainable mobility and vitality infrastructure,” the Dutch authorities stated in a press release.

Macron was wrapping up his two-day state go to with talks between the 2 nations’ authorities ministers and a go to to a sell-out exhibition of work by Dutch grasp Johannes Vermeer at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.


Related Press writers Sylvie Corbet and Elaine Ganley in Paris contributed.