The head of the French delegation of senators Alain Richard called Taiwan a “country” in a speech during his visit to the city of Taipei. This statement may be a thorn in the side of China, which strongly opposed the visit.
Alain Richard, the former French defence minister, is currently on a five-day trip to Taiwan, where he met President Tsai Ing-wen yesterday. In a speech, the French senator addressed the Taiwanese president and said: “the Taiwanese embassy in Paris represents your country very well”. France decided to allow the visit to Taiwan to continue, despite many warnings from the Chinese Embassy in Paris. There it was feared that the visit would make French-Chinese relations more difficult. France, like many other countries, recognises Taiwan as an independent country. China, on the other hand, claims Taiwan as Chinese territory.
Beijing tries to isolate the island as much as possible and refuses to recognise Taiwan as an independent country. Moreover, the Republic wants to limit politicians from other countries as much as possible to visit the island. Tensions between the two have again reached a climax, after a record number of Chinese military aircraft have entered Taiwan’s airspace in recent days.