The domestic topics that the French national newspapers listed on the 28th were still focused on the purchasing power of residents in the context of high inflation and the struggles and contests between the French government and opposition over countermeasures. In the international edition, the topics of particular concern to the newspapers include: French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to three African countries, the British Conservative Party leadership race entering the sprint stage, the controversy over Hungarian Prime Minister Orban’s pro-Russian stance at home and in the EU, Catholic Pope Francis’ Penitential Pilgrimage in Canada and more. “Le Figaro” reported on a large-scale report of former US President Trump’s latest speech that was close to a campaign manifesto and the US Congress’ investigation into the incident that hit Capitol Hill on January 6, 2020. The newspaper also published an article to introduce the current US President Joe Biden facing the dilemma of whether to support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
Pelosi’s plan to visit Taiwan puts Biden administration in a dilemma
In the past few days, the news that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may visit Taiwan in August has made the already tense Sino-US relationship more sensitive. China‘s foreign ministry has repeatedly warned about this. The “Le Figaro” article pointed out that this visit plan aimed at expressing support for democratic Taiwan has caused the US military to worry about the outbreak of a crisis in the Taiwan Strait. In Beijing’s view, this will mean that the United States has once again violated the “one China” policy that China believes the United States should abide by. If it does, Pelosi will be the highest-level representative of the U.S. political establishment who has visited Taiwan since 1997. In 1997, then-Republican House Speaker Gingrich visited Taiwan. Both the U.S. Department of Defense and the White House are uneasy about Pelosi’s proposed visit to Taiwan, which they worry will lead to an escalation of military tensions in the Taiwan Strait. On the eve of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, local geopolitical relations have become very sensitive. Senior U.S. military officials and White House advisers believe the timing is bad, and they worry that the People’s Liberation Army will retaliate, even leading to the worst Taiwan Strait crisis since 1996.
In Beijing, hawks like Hu Xijin, a commentator of the Global Times, advocated for Beijing to show its muscles and let the People’s Liberation Army send fighter jets “accompanying” Pelosi to visit Taiwan and fly over the island of Taiwan. But some experts in Beijing think such a response is overdone. Shi Yinhong, a professor at Renmin University of China, believes that Beijing will respond strongly but moderately, and that China and the United States will avoid military conflict. He does not think the 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis will be repeated.
In this regard, the article wrote that this matter puts the White House in an extremely delicate situation in the context of the midterm elections. Pelosi’s trip threatens to undermine Biden’s efforts to stabilize U.S.-China relations and prevent competition from escalating into conflict. But opposing Pelosi to Taiwan will send a weak signal, and in the face of criticism from Republicans, more and more people in the Republican Party advocate supporting Taiwan, and even support the recognition of Taiwan’s independence.
The article pointed out that the Biden administration is working hard to deploy an orderly strategy to contain China in the Indo-Pacific region, but it hopes to persuade Xi Jinping to accept a face-to-face summit meeting between China and the United States at the G20 Bali summit this fall to manage the competition. The phone call between the two on Thursday will discuss the possibility of a summit meeting and the issue of tariffs, as well as the risk of mishaps in the South China Sea. However, Shi Yinhong, a professor at Renmin University of China, was quoted in the article as pointing out that phone talks were not enough to eliminate mutual mistrust. Since the Russian-Ukrainian war, relations between China and the United States have deteriorated, he said. Phone conversations cannot change that, and face-to-face meetings are required.
The article wrote that the Indonesian president, who currently holds the rotating presidency of the G20, has just concluded his visit to Beijing, and he has invited Xi Jinping to attend the summit of the 20 leaders in Bali. But Xi Jinping has only wished the summit a success so far, and has not yet said whether he will go there in person.
Sue ex-President Trump?The U.S. Attorney General is in a dilemma
Former US President Donald Trump delivered his first speech since leaving the White House in Washington. “Echo” reported that the speech was somewhat like a campaign speech. The article in Le Figaro also wrote that Trump was careful not to announce that he would run for the 2024 presidential election, but his tone was somewhat like a future candidate. But investigations into Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election are advancing, according to sources obtained by The Washington Post. Le Figaro has a special report on the US attorney general’s difficult choice on whether to indict the former president. Failure to prosecute would be setting a precedent of impunity with serious consequences. But if indicted, it could create the appearance of a miscarriage of justice against a political opponent, setting another dangerous precedent. The Justice Department’s ambiguity on whether to pursue Trump’s legal responsibility is in contrast to efforts to hold those involved in the attack on Capitol Hill, the article wrote. At present, more than 840 people have been judicially prosecuted for their participation in the shock incident, and a number of verdicts have been handed down. But those involved in the preparations for the rally or in the events leading up to the shock event have not been targeted so far. Testimony revealed at eight recent hearings of the parliamentary committee of inquiry made it difficult for the Justice Department to remain silent. But the “Le Figaro” article also pointed out that even if there is solid evidence, in the currently extremely divided United States, prosecuting a former president also has great political risks, especially if Trump announces his participation in the 2024 election.