Merkel, Macron for independent EU policy towards China
PARIS - The European Union (EU) should maintain its strategic autonomy and has its own policy towards China, said French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, as Washington is pushing for a common US-EU policy.
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"We have already made a step in this direction with the investment agreement with China. I think the EU should have its own policy vis-a-vis China," said Merkel at a joint press conference with Macron following an online meeting of the French-German Defence and Security Council.
We have already made a step in this direction with the investment agreement with China. I think the EU should have its own policy vis-a-vis China.
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor
The two leaders made the remarks when asked to comment on US President Joe Biden's first foreign policy speech, in which he called China his country's "most serious competitor."
The EU policy towards China should "take into consideration points of accord with the US," but "despite this, there are numerous reasons, such as the fight against climate change and other themes, that push us to work with China, notably for the reinforcement of multilateralism," said the German chancellor.
"And I think the decoupling, especially at the digital era, is not a good idea," she added.
For his part, the French president said European sovereignty means "the power to decide our choice by ourselves and not to be in a strategy of alignment with anyone."
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Second, "we both believe in peace and stability... therefore in doing everything to avoid escalation of tension," said Macron.
"The third thing is that we have indeed plurality in the relations with China - partnership on certain issues, such as the climate, on which China since the Paris agreement has been a trustful partner..." he continued.