SYDNEY (AP) — The Latest on French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Australia (all times local):
French President Emmanuel Macron and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have reminded China of the importance of legal, “rules-based” development in the South Pacific, amid fears of growing Chinese influence in the region.
Australia has become concerned about Chinese infrastructure projects in the area, especially reports — denied by Beijing — that China wants establish a permanent military base in Vanuatu. This follows China’s contentious claiming of islands in recent years in the South China Sea.
A day before departing for New Caledonia, a French-controlled island near Vanuatu which will soon hold an independence referendum, Macron echoed Turnbull’s comment that “China’s rise is very good news for everybody” in terms of global and regional economic growth.
But he added: “What’s important is to preserve a rules-based development in the region, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, and to preserve the necessary balances.”
At a joint news conference during Macron’s visit to Australia, where the two leaders were expected to discuss China’s South Pacific influence, Turnbull said he welcomed China’s economic rise, which “has been enabled and made possible by a rules-based order in our region.”
President Emmanuel Macron has condemned violence at May Day protests in France but says his government is not overly worried about the incidents.
Police say some 20,000 demonstrators took part in often angry demonstrations, with several vehicles set on fire. Authorities used tear gas to disperse the protesters, who were railing against policies pursued by Macron, who plans to end some worker protections.
Macron, speaking through an interpreter at a media conference on his visit to Sydney, says he “very much condemned” the violence.
Macron says: “The first of May is an international celebration. It is the day when we celebrate workers, not rioters.” He noted “some arrests have been made and all necessary measures were taken.”
Macron adds: “We shall not be too concerned about it. We shall stand firm. There is a government, there is a state, there are leaders, and it will continue to be so.”
French President Emmanuel Macron has stepped up calls for the renegotiation of the Iran nuclear agreement as tensions mount over the country’s weapons capabilities.
With a May 12 deadline looming for President Donald Trump to decide whether or not to pull out of the deal and re-impose sanctions against Iran, Macron says regardless of that decision a new agreement should be negotiated with Teheran.
Macron, who told the United Nations last September that the current deal was not sufficient, told a news conference it should be broadened to address three new main areas — Iran’s nuclear activity after the current deal expires in 2025; improvements in the monitoring and controlling of Iran’s domestic nuclear activity, and to have better containment of Iranian activity in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Macron says Trump responded “positively” to his recent suggestion for a new agreement, while he had also “exchanged about that” in the past few days with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Macron says whatever Trump’s coming decision, a broader deal is needed because “nobody wants a war in the region and nobody wants an escalation in terms of tension in the region.”
French President Emmanuel Macron says Australia’s wartime cooperation with France is a powerful message as global nationalism rises.
Macron spoke at Sydney’s main war memorial Wednesday on his visit to Australia a week after he criticized President Donald Trump’s “America first” policies on a trip to Washington and hours after a gathering in France of European anti-immigration populist leaders.
Macron thanked Australia for sending “a huge part of its population” to fight in France in both world wars.
He said the memory of Australian sacrifice in France was “a powerful message at a time when nationalism is looming, entrenched behind its borders and its hostility to the rest of the world.”
He added: “No great nation has ever been built by turning its back on the world.”