Biden, Macron discuss French leader's recent China visit: White House

AFP , Thursday 20 Apr 2023

US President Joe Biden and President Emmanuel Macron talked Thursday about the French leader's recent trip to China, the White House said, signaling an effort to calm tensions over how to deal with Beijing.

President Joe Biden stands with French President Emmanuel Macron after a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. AP


They "discussed President Macron's recent travel to the People's Republic of China and their ongoing efforts to advance prosperity, security, shared values, and the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region," a White House statement said. "They reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."

Biden and Macron also discussed the Russian invasion of pro-Western Ukraine and "reiterated their steadfast support for Ukraine in the face of Russia's brutal aggression."

The call served as a chance for Washington and Paris to settle tensions that erupted over Macron's trip to see President Xi Jinping, where he suggested that European countries should not be drawn into a fight between China and the United States over democratic, Western-backed Taiwan.

Macron told reporters on the trip that Europe should avoid "crises that aren't ours" and he repeated previous comments calling for the EU's "strategic autonomy" from the United States, which for decades has financed and deployed the bulk of the military protecting its allies on the continent.

Biden held a separate call Thursday with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who accompanied Macron to Beijing.

A White House statement said they too "reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."

"The two leaders discussed President von der Leyen's recent trip to Beijing and their shared commitment to upholding the rules-based international order, human rights, and fair trade practices," the statement said.

Biden likewise discussed the Western effort to halt Russia's onslaught on Ukraine, as well as the transition to clean energy economies, the statement said.

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