French President Emmanuel Macron has advised an end to confrontation as he outlined France’s engagement with the Asia-Pacific region on Friday.
Macron is in Bangkok for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, where he hopes to relaunch France’s regional strategy in the face of growing US-China competition.
The French president told a gathering of business leaders on the summit’s sidelines that France wants to play a stabilizing role in the region to avoid conflict.
President Macron said, “We don’t believe in hegemony, we don’t believe in confrontation, we believe in stability.”
He also said, “We are in the jungle and we have two big elephants, trying to become more and more nervous.
“If they become very nervous and start war it will be a big problem for the rest of the jungle. You need cooperation of a lot of other animals: tigers, monkeys, and so on.”
Macron stated that the international community was dealing with multiple crises, ranging from climate change to economic turmoil and that a coordinated response was required.
“Our Indo-Pacific strategy is how to provide dynamic balance in this environment. How to provide precisely a sort of stability and equilibrium which could not be the hegemony of one of those, could not be the confrontation of the two major powers,” the French leader said.
Concerning Russia’s war in Ukraine, which he identified as a major source of global instability, he stated that all Asian and other countries must recognize their obligation to act.
President Macron also noted that France was working to build an increasing consensus in order to say this war is also your problem because it will create a lot of destabilisation.