Taiwan: Mélenchon criticized by the left over his remarks
The release of Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the “provocation” of the United States in Taiwan has provoked a series of criticisms on the left, opening a breach within the New People’s Union born on the occasion of the legislative elections.
The head of LFI and unsuccessful presidential candidate on Thursday called the visit of the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, a “provocation”, which had provoked a strong reaction from Beijing. The leader of France insoumise also claimed that there is “only one China” and that “Taiwan is a full-fledged component of China”, using a term defended by the Beijing regime but refused by the Taipei authorities.
“The Chinese will solve the problem among themselves. There is no other reasonable way out possible,” said Mr. Mélenchon, who accuses the United States of wanting to “open a new front”. On Thursday evening, the Chinese embassy in France had thanked Jean-Luc Mélenchon in a tweet “for his constant support for the one China policy”.
On Friday, on BFMTV, Julien Bayou, national secretary of Europe Ecology-The Greens (EELV), an ally of LFI within the Nupes, denounced “a rather dated vision” and “a real cynicism in terms of geopolitics” on the part of Mr. Mélenchon. “Finally, everything that is hostile to the United States is fine, on principle. That old idea that the enemies of my enemies are my friends… But I think it’s absolutely dated,” he elaborated.
“The right of peoples to dispose of themselves, it would be less serious when it is China that it can wrinkle. That is not to be understood,” insisted the Paris MP, for whom “there are no lessons that have been learned from the crisis, Russia’s war against Ukraine” from the Insubordinate leader, like the sharp disagreements between Insubordinates and environmentalists that had spread out during the presidential campaign.
💬 “You can’t be a Democrat with variable geometry”
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) August 5, 2022
A “questionable visit”
Also within the left-wing alliance Nupes (LFI, the PS, EELV and PCF), the deputy and boss of the Socialist Party Olivier Faure judged on Twitter that if “the advisability of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is questionable, the will of the Taiwanese to live in democracy is not”.
“We have the allies we deserve,” the LREM/Renaissance MEP Nathalie Loiseau quipped in a tweet on Friday, relaying in a second the comments she considered “scandalous” by the Chinese ambassador Lu Shaye in an interview on BFMTV, during which he defended the “reunification” of Taiwan and then the “re-education” of the Taiwanese.
Mr. Mélenchon unsurprisingly received the support of his troops, including the deputy Manuel Bompard who believes that Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has “added fuel to the fire” vis-à-vis China, arguing that “international law today defends the concept called +one China+”.
Beijing responded to Pelosi’s visit on Thursday by launching the most important military maneuvers in its history around Taiwan with a series of missiles that flew over the island before falling for the first time in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Twenty-two Chinese warplanes briefly entered the Taiwanese air defense zone, according to the Taiwanese defense minister.
On Friday, Beijing also announced “imposing sanctions” on Nancy Pelosi, who has “seriously interfered in China’s internal affairs”, as well as her “close family”, and ending cooperation with the United States on multiple issues.
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