Macron’s Comments Leave Senior Taiwanese Official ‘Puzzled’

Wed Apr 12 2023
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TAIPEI: A senior Taiwanese lawmaker has questioned whether France’s basic ideas of equality, liberty, and fraternity are still relevant following French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Taiwan.

In an interview during his trip to China intended to show European solidarity on China policy, Macron warned against getting drawn into a Taiwan crisis brought on by an “American rhythm and a Chinese overreaction”.

As a “third pole” in global politics alongside Beijing and Washington, he also urged the European Union to reduce its reliance on the US.

The speaker of the Taiwanese parliament, You Si-kun, questioned the commitment of France to freedom in a post on Facebook late Tuesday that was posted above a screenshot of news about Macron’s remarks on Taiwan.

He asked in his letter, referring to the French national motto of “liberté, égalité, fraternité,” “Are ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité’ out of fashion?”

“Is it allowed to disregard something after it is a part of the constitution? Or are advanced democracies able to disregard the lives and deaths of people in countries elsewhere?”

You, a founding member of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party, added, “I’m baffled by President Macron’s actions as a prominent international democracy,”

China has been conducting military manoeuvres surrounding Taiwan since Saturday when Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen returned from a trip to the US, where she met the US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Like most nations, France maintains a de facto embassy in Taipei despite having no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan. France has also joined other US partners in highlighting the need to achieve peace in the Taiwan Strait.

On Tuesday, Taiwan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Jeff Liu said: “The Foreign Ministry expresses its appreciation to France for raising concerns about peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait on several occasions and in various international fora.”

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