Macron accused of rolling out red carpet for ‘dictator’ Xi who is ‘backing Putin’s war’

Macron accused of rolling out red carpet for ‘dictator’ Xi who is ‘backing Putin’s war’

In an op-ed in Le Monde targeting Mr Macron, Mr Glucksmann said: “You roll out the red carpet and you even invite (Xi Jinping) to a place dear to your childhood in the Pyrenees, an intimate place that is supposed to dress this special relationship that you dream of the in the cloak of friendship. And as usual, you will justify such obsequiousness towards a dictator by saying that you have to be realistic.”

“But there is nothing ‘realistic’ about your obsequious attitude…Without China’s help, Russia would not have been able to cope with Western sanctions and mount such a war effort.”

‘Xi is not our friend’

In an interview on France Inter, he went on: “We saw Emmanuel Macron’s strategy with Vladimir Putin – invitations to the the Bregançon fort (the French president’s Riviera retreat), a visit to the Hermitage museum (in Saint Petersburg), the ‘tu’, the ‘toi’ (impersonal second-personal forms), the comrade, the friend. And the result: zero influence, zero change of direction in Putin’s offensive (in Ukraine). The same thing will happen with Xi Jinping.”

Last year, the French president raised eyebrows for saying Europe must reduce its dependency on the United States and avoid getting dragged into a confrontation over Taiwan during a China visit – to little Gallic gain, say observers.

The reality is China is hellbent on the collapse of the West, asserted Mr Glucksmann, citing a China-based European diplomat as warning: “You will never understand the extent to which they wish for our downfall.”

“We can receive him, we can talk to anyone”, he said. “But not in this way: not by taking him to his childhood holiday village, to his grandfather’s house, not by giving this visit a ‘friendly framework’, as the Élysée Palace puts it.

“Because Xi Jinping is not our friend: as well as having deported the Uyghur people, repressed the Tibetans and Hong Kong citizens and threatened the Taiwanese, Xi Jinping is the main supporter of Putin’s war in Ukraine. Without China’s help, Russia would not have been able to continue this war. It’s not by flattering tyrants that we demonstrate realism,” he told France Inter.

Encouraging Beijing to rein in Iran

Mrs von der Leyen said part of the meeting’s purpose was encouraging Beijing to rein in Iran.

“We also made clear our concern on Iran’s direct threat to stability in the region and we believe that China can play an important role in limiting the irresponsible proliferation of Iranian ballistic missiles & drones.”

The visit comes as Russia said on Monday it would hold a military exercise that will include practice for the use of tactical nuclear weapons after what the defence ministry said were “provocative statements” from Western officials – notably Mr Macron who refuses to rule out sending ground troops to Ukraine if its army is in danger of defeat.

However, Mr Xi is not getting the full red carpet treatment as the state dinner planned on Monday evening in the presence of the two leaders’ sides will be at the Elysée, not at the more ornate Palace of Versailles, an honour recently bestowed on the King during his royal visit.

Scholz wants more caution on electic cars

Meanwhile, France and Germany are divided on their stance towards China with Berlin wanting to proceed with more caution on any electric vehicle probe, sources say.

Olaf Scholz, Germany’s chancellor, will not join Mr Macron and Mr Xi in Paris due to prior commitments, sources said.

“In Europe, we are not unanimous on the subject because certain players still see China as essentially a market of opportunities,” Mr Macron told newspaper La Tribune ahead of Mr Xi’s two-day visit.

Mr Xi’s visit was splashed across the front pages of Chinese state media on Monday, with reports highlighting the welcome ceremony at Orly airport included a guard of honour, red carpet and a friendly “Ni hao!” from Gabriel Attal, the French prime minister.

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