Emmanuel Macron has warned new US President Joe Biden he cannot rely on the support of the European Union when it comes to China in an indication that the bloc is ready to cosy up to Beijing.

Emmanuel Macron and Xi Jinping in 2019 (Image: GETTY)

Mr Biden, who officially took office on January 20, is keen to revive traditional alliances including those with European countries, with the European Commission – led by President Ursula von der Leyen – last year publishing a paper entitled A new EU-US agenda for global change. However, France’s President suggested the bloc should resist the temptation to take sides.

“This one, for me, is counterproductive.”

Mr Macron claimed such an approach would merely antagonise China, led by President Xi Jinping, prompting in a reduction on cooperation on issues such as climate change, as well fuelling more aggressive behaviour in the disputed South China Sea.

Mr Macron added: “As the US is reengaging itself, what will be the behaviour of China?”

Characterising China as a “partner, competitor and systemic rival”, he stressed: “I think we have to engage China in a bold and efficient climate agenda.

“And I think the reengagement of the US is a good occasion, as well, to have a proactive and – a discussion on that.”

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February 5, 2021 at 02:00PM