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    Biden and Macron Hold Talks to Alleviate Tensions Following French Leader’s Comment on Taiwan.

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    US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke on the phone to ease tensions after Macron’s recent remarks on Taiwan and the European security relationship with the US. During Macron’s state visit to Beijing in early April, he caused a stir by telling reporters that European countries should not be drawn into a fight between China and the United States over democratic, Western-backed Taiwan. Macron also repeated previous comments calling for the EU’s “strategic autonomy” from the United States.

    The White House and Elysee released separate statements after the phone call, emphasizing their shared positions. They discussed President Macron’s recent travel to China and their ongoing efforts to advance prosperity, security, shared values, and the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region. They reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

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    Biden and Macron also discussed the Russian invasion of pro-Western Ukraine and reiterated their support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s aggression. In Paris, Macron’s office characterized the call as Biden being briefed on “the results obtained” during the China trip. Referring to Macron’s push for China to play a role in forging a peace deal to end the war in Ukraine, the statement said “China had a role to play in contributing, in the medium term, in ending the conflict in accordance with the principles and aims of the United Nations charter.”

    On the transatlantic security relationship, the French statement underlined “the importance of European countries continuing to re-arm themselves in order to take on their responsibilities in sharing the burden of transatlantic security.” It echoed US language on Taiwan, saying “the two presidents share the same desire to reinforce cooperation underway and to support international law, including the freedom of navigation, in the whole of the Indo-Pacific region.”

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    Biden also held a separate call with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who accompanied Macron to Beijing. They too reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and discussed 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.

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