French MPs visit Taiwan in show of support after Macron remarks
Beijing, Apr 17 (EFE).- A delegation of French parliamentarians arrived in Taiwan Monday to reiterate their support of the island.
The four-day visit of members of France’s National Assembly comes at a time of increased tensions in the region and in the wake of remarks by president Emmanuel Macron saying Europe should avoid being drawn into the regional conflict.
“This is what we want to show again. Now it is more important than ever for us to be here (because), we stand with you, we are close to you, we will be friends for a very long time,” lawmaker Eric Bothorel, chair of the France-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, was quoted as saying by the official Taiwanese CNA news agency.
Asked about Macron’s recent remarks in which he said Europe should avoid being drawn into the ongoing dispute between China and the US over Taiwan, Bothorel said that France’s position in favor of maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait had not changed.
“If something happens to Taiwan, it would change the world,” the French MP added.
Bothorel was traveling with MPs Constance Le Grip, Mireille Clapot and Michel Herbillon.
The arrival of the delegation comes after Beijing flexed its muscles by sending fighter jets and warships to the Strait in response to a visit by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to the US on April 5.
Taiwan is one of the main points of contention between China and the US.
Washington has long been Taiwan’s main arms supplier and its greatest military ally.
China considers the island a breakaway province where Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) forces fled to after losing the civil war with the Communists in 1949.
Beijing has said it reserves the right to use force to reunify Taiwan with the mainland.
In 1979, Washington broke diplomatic ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing as part of the One China policy. EFE