Taiwan an international issue rather than a domestic one: new French envoy

Taiwan an international issue rather than a domestic one: new French envoy
Taiwan an international issue rather than a domestic one: new French envoy
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Taipei, Nov. 6 (CNA) Taiwan is “an issue of international security and not an issue of domestic politics,” new French representative to Taiwan Franck Paris said Friday.

Paris, who assumed his post as director of the French Office in Taipei in August, made the comment during a press briefing at his residence and noted that maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait was in France’s interest.

Taiwan’s security is, according to the de facto ambassador, an international issue that has been brought up repeatedly in meetings held by blocs such as G7 nations and the European Council.

G7 foreign ministers have reiterated their “commitment to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” in their recent joint statements, which they consider “indispensable to security and prosperity in the international community.”

European Union leaders also expressed concerns about growing tensions in the Taiwan Strait as well as opposition to any unilateral moves to change the status quo, according to their conclusions issued after the European Council meeting in July.

According to Paris, the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is a narrative that should be promoted not just in Asia, but also in other parts of the world, such as Africa, Latin America and Europe.

He added that France has strong connections and good relationships with many countries, and therefore could play a role in contributing to that effort.

In addition, the French government will continue to honor the Freedom of Navigation principle through French military vessels continuing to transit the Taiwan Strait, he said.

“This is an important commitment” not only made by the French president but also endorsed by the French parliament, he added.

Without peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, Paris said, all the collaborations that France and Taiwan have fostered and are planning to further develop will be disrupted.

Paris noted that while relations with China were “crucial” for France, such engagements would not undermine his government’s efforts to continue strengthening its ties with Taiwan.

“Taiwan is a partner for its own merits,” said Paris, who previously served as an advisor to French President Emmanuel Macron on Africa for about six years before coming to Taiwan to head the French office, which represents the Elysée’s interest in the absence of diplomatic relations.

(By Teng Pei-ju)

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Tags: Taiwan international issue domestic French envoy

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