Bangkok [Thailand], November 19 (ANI): French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday urged the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum for “a single global order” amid the US-China trade conflict that had done damage by forcing other countries to choose sides.
Macron made the plea in his keynote speech, “Navigating a Turbulent World”, for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit at the Athenee Hotel in Bangkok, reported The Nation Thailand.
“Are you on the US or the China side?” was the question asked, said Macron, who added, “But we need a single global order.”
Macron described the current world order as “a jungle”, posing the US and China as “two big elephants, trying to become more and more nervous,” reported The Nation Thailand.
The French leader urged the “cooperation of a lot of other animals” and calls for a single world order.
He said that the world faced a turning point over three scenarios – the Russia-Ukraine war, climate change, and the confrontation of superpowers. All three were undermining the global order, trade, and investment, he added.
Countries must re-establish international rules and multilateralism in order to maintain global peace and stability, he told the CEO summit, reported The Nation Thailand.
To avoid new conflicts, it was imperative to establish a new equilibrium and stability at the regional level, he said.
” A dynamic balance is the best way for nations to avoid being forced to choose between superpowers. Countries have to pursue inclusive, sustainable development to address inequality and instability,” he said. “You compete, all of us want to win. But you have to respect the sovereignty of the other one.”
He also told business leaders at the summit that capitalism’s DNA must be recalibrated to make global trade and development more inclusive, equal, and sustainable, reported The Nation Thailand.
Macron highlighted the importance of a multilateral world and urged APEC countries to join hands for win-win solutions.
“I am sure that the only way to have a win-win game is to cooperate and to accept that all the members of the different regions of this world, will make their life easier and better at the end of the day,” he added.
Macron also said that France does not believe in hegemony but believes in stability and cooperation.
“We don’t believe in hegemony. We don’t believe in confrontation. We believe in stability, and cooperation, to innovate together and deliver concrete and positive results for our people everywhere. Thank you for your attention and you can count on France. Thank You,” said Macron.
Notably, While the absence of top leaders from the United States and Russia at this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok is disappointing, there are plenty of other things to pay attention to.
The most unexpected guest is Macron, who has enjoyed cordial yet limited ties with the Thais and has never once visited Thailand since becoming France’s leader in 2017, reported The Diplomat.
The Thai-French relationship goes back a long way and is a deeply troubled one. According to the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Thailand is France’s oldest “partner” in Southeast Asia.
Fast forward to the present, bilateral cooperation between Thailand and France is very much confined to the economic and sociocultural realms. France is currently Thailand’s 25th largest trading partner and has around 280 companies, mostly service-related businesses, operating in the country, while Thailand is a leading Southeast Asian investor in France’s agrifood and polyurethane manufacturing industries. Beyond business and tourism, the people-to-people exchange between Thailand and France has been characterized by education and scientific research collaborations, reported The Diplomat.
A growing convergence between Thailand and France on strategic issues is the need of the hour amid Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
In the Indo-Pacific theatre, both Thailand and France seek to frame the narrative away from the zero-sum US-China competition and attempt to hedge by forging deepening cooperation with “third parties” like India, reported The Diplomat.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that both Thailand and France have resorted to dialogue when dealing with “problematic” neighbours. Thailand has remained committed to using backdoor diplomacy to address the Myanmar crisis.
Overall, the blossoming Thai-French engagement beyond economic and sociocultural matters is a reflection of the shifting geopolitical landscape. (ANI)
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