TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The newly appointed French representative to Taiwan, Franck Paris, has expressed his intention to foster a collaborative partnership with Taiwan, aligning with the geopolitical priorities of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Taking office as the director of the French Office in Taipei in August, Paris stressed that the Indo-Pacific and Africa are two key frontiers where President Macron envisions expanding France’s presence. His primary responsibility in Taiwan is to craft a new framework for engaging with the region, wrote CNA.
Taiwan holds a unique role in France’s efforts to recalibrate its focus in Asia, serving not only as a testing ground but also as a significant “player” in these efforts. In the wake of Macron’s historic visit to the South Pacific in July, Paris has actively reached out to various nations in the region, including Taiwan’s diplomatic allies.
Regarding France’s cross-strait policy, Paris made it abundantly clear that France aims to maintain an open dialogue with China while simultaneously strengthening its ties with Taiwan. He emphasized the importance of intermediaries in facilitating direct discussions with China’s top leadership, asserting that the world requires such channels.
The diplomat reaffirmed France’s support for a secure Taiwan Strait, highlighting the government’s promulgation of a seven-year military programming law (LPM) for 2024-2030 in August, which reaffirms its commitment to ensuring freedom of navigation in the Taiwan Strait. He underscored that France had made this commitment despite facing significant pressure.
Furthermore, Paris highlighted the potential for France to serve as a gateway for Taiwan to enter the European market, particularly in terms of innovative technologies. Notably, France boasts one of the world’s most advanced quantum technology laboratories.
In addition to technology collaboration, there are various untapped opportunities for bilateral cooperation in sectors such as aerospace, renewable energy, and scientific research. The French Office in Taipei is planning to organize networking sessions to acquire people and businesses in Taiwan with the prospects of collaborating with France, which offers much more than just its allure as a travel destination and cultural hub.