US President Joe Biden and President Emmanuel Macron have expressed their efforts to ease tensions following Macron’s recent comments on Taiwan and Europe’s security relationship with the US.
The White House and Élysée Palace, in separate statements after a phone call, highlighted that the leaders had discussed Macron’s state visit to Beijing in early April where he met with President Xi Jinping.
Macron caused a stir when he stated that European countries should avoid getting drawn into the US-China fight over Taiwan, stating that Europe should avoid “crises that aren’t ours” and also repeated previous calls for the EU’s “strategic autonomy” from the US.
The White House statement emphasised their shared positions and 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”.
Macron’s office in Paris characterised the call as Biden being briefed on “the results obtained” during the China trip.
The French statement underlined the importance of European countries continuing to re-arm themselves to share the burden of transatlantic security and echoed US language on Taiwan, stating that the two presidents share the same desire to reinforce cooperation underway and to support international law in the Indo-Pacific region.
Biden also held a separate call on Thursday with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who accompanied Macron to Beijing, where they reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and their shared commitment to upholding the rules-based international order, human rights, and fair trade practices.
Biden also discussed the Western effort to halt Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine, as well as the transition to clean energy economies.