Macron’s visit to the Netherlands overshadowed by Taiwan comments
French president Emmanuel Macron is in the Netherlands on a two-day official visit from Tuesday, but the international focus is on a speech on European sovereignty in security and economic matters which he will give in The Hague in the afternoon.
Macron has been criticised for saying in an interview with Politico on Sunday that Europe must not be a ‘follower’ of either Washington or Beijing on Taiwan.
Commentators say the comments ‘threaten to overshadow’ the visit, which is meant to highlight the strong relationship between the two countries. Macron has been accompanied by his wife Brigitte and seven ministers.
The visit includes a state dinner with king Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima, a visit to the Vermeer exhibition at the Rijksmuseum and a meeting with prime minister Mark Rutte.
The two countries will also sign a ‘pact for innovation’ on Wednesday focusing on semiconductors, quantum physics and energy
Macron’s is the first state visit by a French leader to the Netherlands since 2000, although Macron visited Rutte in January to rally support ahead of the EU energy summit.
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