Taiwan is economically and strategically “crucial” for Europe, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said on Tuesday, a few days after French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks calling for not being a “follower” of the United States.

“ Taiwan is crucial for Europe ”, declared Mr. Borrell, at the opening of a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg devoted to China.

“ This is the most strategic strait in the world, particularly with regard to trade: we must be present there through freedom of navigation operations ”, pleaded the head of EU diplomacy.

Mr. Borrell raised the risk of a possible “action against Taiwan, which should be rejected anyway” on moral grounds.

“This would have very serious strategic implications for us, because Taiwan has one of the most advanced industries for the production of semiconductors”, he also remarked.

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy called for “preventing provocations wherever they come from” and pleaded for “returning to the status quo”.

“Taiwan is resolutely part of our strategic perimeter to guarantee peace, to defend our interests”, he added.

These remarks come less than ten days after the publication of an interview with French President Emmanuel Macron, who at the end of an official visit to China said he refused to “a logic of bloc to bloc” on the question of Taiwan. and urged Europe not to “be a follower” of the United States or China.

China and Taiwan have been governed separately since 1949, but Beijing considers the democratic island as one of its provinces and does not rule out using force to exercise its sovereignty there.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who accompanied Mr. Macron to Beijing, for her part called before Parliament for “ close cooperation between Member States and European institutions in order to avoid attempts to divide to reign”.

“We have already seen these tactics at work over the past days and weeks,” she noted, without explicitly referring to the French president’s statements on Taiwan.