French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday urged an end to “confrontation” as he outlined his vision for France’s engagement with the Asia-Pacific region.
Macron is attending the 21-strong APEC summit in Bangkok as he seeks to relaunch France’s strategy for the region in the face of growing US-China competition.
France wants to play a stabilizing role in the region to avert confrontation, he told a gathering of business leaders on the sidelines of the summit.
“We don’t believe in hegemony, we don’t believe in confrontation, we believe in stability,” said Macron, who was invited to the APEC summit as a guest by the host country, Thailand.
Regional powers, including France — which has overseas territories in the Indian and Pacific oceans, including Reunion, New Caledonia and French Polynesia — should play a role, he said.
“We are in the jungle and we have two big elephants, trying to become more and more nervous,” Macron said in his speech, which he gave in English.
“If they become very nervous and start war, it will be a big problem for the rest of the jungle,” he said. “You need cooperation of a lot of other animals: tigers, monkeys and so on.”
Macron said that the international community was facing overlapping crises, from climate change to economic turmoil, and a coordinated response was needed.
“Our Indo-Pacific strategy is how to provide dynamic balance in this environment,” he said. “How to provide precisely a sort of stability and equilibrium, which could not be the hegemony of one of those, could not be the confrontation of the two major powers.”
On Russia’s war in Ukraine, which he identified as a major source of global instability, he said all countries in Asia and elsewhere needed to recognize their duty to act.
Macron urged Asian countries to join the “increasing consensus” against the conflict in Ukraine, telling them the war was “your problem” too.
France is working to build “an increasing consensus in order to say this war is also your problem because it will create a lot of destabilization,” Macron said.
The rise of Asia to become an engine for global growth owes its success to trade “governed by common rules, global rules,” he said, adding that multiple crises have taken the world to a “tipping point.”
Additional reporting by AP
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) removed former minister of foreign affairs Qin Gang (秦剛) from his post after an investigation concluded that he had conducted an affair and fathered a child while serving as ambassador to the US, the Wall Street Journal reported. Top officials were told in August that a CCP inquiry into Qin uncovered “lifestyle issues,” the newspaper reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the situation that it did not describe. That phrase usually means sexual misbehavior of some type in the parlance of Chinese officialdom. Two of the people said the affair led to the birth of a child in
GUNNED DOWN: The Canadian PM said there were credible allegations that India was connected to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey on June 18 India yesterday dismissed allegations that its government was linked to the killing of a Sikh activist in Canada as “absurd,” expelling a senior Canadian diplomat and accusing Canada of interfering in India’s internal affairs. It came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described what he called credible allegations that India was connected to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an advocate of Sikh independence from India who was gunned down on June 18 outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia, and Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat. “Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a
SECURITY: Wang met with the US national security adviser in Malta over the weekend, with the US side noting the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) yesterday headed to Russia for security talks after two days of meetings with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan over the weekend in Malta. China’s top foreign policy official will be in Russia until Thursday for a round of China-Russia strategic security consultations, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a brief statement. The US and China are at odds over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China has refrained from taking sides in the war, saying that while a country’s territory must be respected, the West needs to consider Russia’s security concerns about NATO’s
LOST BATTLE: The Varroa mite, which Canberra has called the ‘most serious pest’ to face bees, would cause serious economic damage, an ecologist said Australia yesterday abandoned its fight to eradicate the destructive Varroa mite, an invasive parasite responsible for the collapse of honeybee populations across the planet. Desperate to keep Varroa out of the country, authorities have destroyed more than 14,000 infected beehives since the tiny red-brown pest was first detected north of Sydney in June last year. The government said its US$64 million eradication plan could not stop the mite from spreading, and the country’s beekeepers should now prepare to live with the incursion. “The recent spike in new detections have made it clear that the Varroa mite infestation is more widespread and has