Being an Ally does not mean being a Vassal: Macron Defended his Words about the US and Taiwan
French President Emmanuel Macron has defended his recent comments on Taiwan, in which he said France should not be drawn into an escalation between the US and China, the BBC reported.
Macron made the comments in an interview over the weekend following his three-day state visit to China. He also said that being an ally of the US does not mean being a "vassal".
His remarks drew criticism from politicians and other public figures on both sides of the Atlantic.
But on Wednesday, during a visit to the Netherlands, he said he stood by his words.
"Being an ally doesn't mean being a vassal... it doesn't mean we don't have the right to make our own decisions," Macron stressed at a press conference in the Netherlands during his two-day visit.
The French president also said that nothing has changed in France's support for the "status quo" in Taiwan and that Paris "supports the one China policy and the search for a peaceful solution to the situation."
The White House, meanwhile, downplayed the remarks, saying the Biden administration remained "confident in the wonderful bilateral relationship we have with France."
Taiwan's foreign ministry took a similar stance, but said it had "noted" Macron's comments.
A senior Taiwanese official said the president's words had left him "puzzled".
"Are 'liberté, égalité, fraternité' out of fashion?" parliament speaker Yoo Si-kun wrote on social media, referring to France's motto of "liberty, equality, fraternity."
"Is it okay to just ignore this since it's part of the constitution? Or can advanced democracies ignore the lives and deaths of people in other countries?"
Meanwhile, China praised Macron's words and said it was not surprised by the criticism.
"Some countries do not want to see other nations become independent and self-reliant, but instead always want to force other countries to submit to their will," the foreign ministry spokesman said.
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