Marc Julienne: “France’s Chinese policy has become illegible and inaudible, because it is outdated and insufficiently demanding”

A On the eve of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), it is urgent to clarify France’s policy towards a key player in international relations: the People’s Republic of China. While, across the world and in Europe, a number of states are updating their Chinese policy, taking note of the political rupture that has taken place in China under the leadership of the secretary general [du Parti communiste chinois] Xi Jinping, France, shows no sign of inflection.

Whether it is the repression of the Uighurs, the brutal takeover of Hong Kong, military pressure on Taiwan, or even verbal attacks against parliamentarians, researchers and the media in France, the French government reacts little. and when he does, it is under the pressure of public opinion or when Parliament expressly questions him. So to speak, the government speaks more about China when it comes to crisis communication internally than if it were a central issue of international politics.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers China: “fighting wolf” diplomacy

Our Chinese policy has become illegible and inaudible, because it is outdated and insufficiently demanding. It still relies on economic and commercial engagement with Beijing, dealing with sensitive political issues behind the scenes or delegating them to Brussels (with the exception of the climate). However, at the EU level, Chinese pressure against member states is increasing. These require the development of a common response and the expression of a clearer intergovernmental solidarity, starting from the State which chairs the Council.

Lithuania on the front line

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden and many others have come under this pressure, but it is truly Lithuania that it is crucial to stress. In November, the opening of a Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius angered Beijing. This type of representation exists in many other European countries, but under the name “Taipei”, and not “Taiwan”, which in Beijing’s eyes constitutes a departure from Lithuania’s “one-China principle”. It is the latest marker of the deterioration of the bilateral relationship for months between the two countries. China permanently recalled its ambassador, then cut off all trade with the Baltic state. In addition, European multinationals, including French ones, are now having their goods destined for China detained at Chinese customs, due to the fact that their value chain passes through Lithuania. In doing so, China breaks with its international commitments and poses a threat to a large number of European companies trading with it.

You have 49.39% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

We wish to say thanks to the writer of this article for this awesome content

Marc Julienne: “France’s Chinese policy has become illegible and inaudible, because it is outdated and insufficiently demanding”

Bofads