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Macron's Taiwan comments expose muddled China policy

Desire for European third way overshadowed by message of autonomy from U.S.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, rolled out the red carpet for French President Emmanuel Macron on his recent state visit to Beijing.   © Reuters

LONDON/PARIS -- French President Emmanuel Macron's call for Europe to steer clear of a Taiwan conflict -- rooted in France's pride and deep-seated resistance to following America's lead -- has raised questions about where he and Paris really stand on China.

The furor started in early April, during an interview on Macron's flight back from China. Speaking about a hypothetical crisis over Taiwan, he said: "The worse thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and take our cue from the U.S. agenda and a Chinese overreaction."

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