Jean-Luc Mélenchon's China stance causes tensions on French Left

France — Opinion

The broad leftwing alliances NUPES became a major force in France's National Assembly following legislative elections in June. However, several leading figures in the alliance have voiced their strong disagreement with its main architect, the veteran radical left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon, over the latter's stance on China and Taiwan. As François Bougon and Mathieu Dejean argue here in this opinion article, Mélenchon's rehashing of Chinese state propaganda stems from deep-seated anti-Americanism.

Chinese, French oil firms seal $10 billion deal for Uganda megaproject

International — Link

The so-called Final Investment Decision should pave the way for the export of millions of barrels of oil that was first discovered in 2006 in Uganda, one of the world's most biodiverse regions.

French parliament officially recognises Uyghur 'genocide'

International — Link

Members of the French parliamentary lower house, the National Assembly, have voted in favour of a resolution that recognises that Chinese government policies towards the country's Muslim Uyghur population constitutes 'crimes against humanity and genocide'. 

French senators visit Taiwan despite China protests

International — Link

Chinese embassy warned that the visit would damage the interests of China, Chinese-French relations and "the image of France" in recent comments on its website.

Why submarine sale row shows France must re-think its role in the world

International — Opinion

After a phone conversation on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron appeared to have at least partly defused tensions over the new military pact between Australia, the UK and the US which entailed the cancellation of Australia’s purchase of 12 French submarines worth 56 billion euros. In this op-ed article, Mediapart’s international affairs specialist François Bougon argues that the diplomatic crisis of recent days should prompt a re-think of France’s global role and an end to the notion of its grandeur and exceptionalism, a heritage handed down from Charles de Gaulle.

In visit to French Polynesia, Macron tackles virus, China’s ambitions

International — Link

French president started his trip Saturday night in Tahiti with a visit to a hospital and an appeal to get vaccinated against the virus. 

France and South Pacific nations to combat 'predatory' fishing

International — Link

A French presidential adviser said the move was aimed at illegal fishing, as China expands its maritime reach.

France sends navy mission to South China Sea as tensions build

International — Link

Paris is to deploy its amphibious assault ship, the Tonnerre, and the frigate Surcouf to sail twice through waters claimed by Beijing, to assert its own presence in the region. 

EDF's curious departure from Taiwan


French utilities giant EDF this year decided to close its offices in Taiwan, a democratically self-governed archipelago which China vigorously lays claim to as a province of its own. Curiously, the move comes just as Taiwan launches an ambitious programme to develop renewable energies, an important sector for EDF. It also follows a lucrative deal EDF has signed with China for the construction of offshore wind parks. The French group, meanwhile, denies any link between the two events. Alice Hérait and Adrien Simorre report from Taiwan.

Former French agents on trial for 'spying for China'

International — Link

Two former agents with the French foreign intelligence service, the DGSE, are to go on trial in a closed-door Paris courtroom on Monday accused of 'delivering information to a foreign power' and 'damaging the fundamental interests of the nation'.

The Wuhan virus research lab and the speculation over its military use

International — Investigation

The former head of British foreign intelligence agency MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, this week cited a scientific report suggesting the Covid-19 virus was man-made and that the pandemic was caused by its accidental leakage from a high-security laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, a claim swiftly denied by the director of the site. The French-designed lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, inaugurated in 2017, was the result of a cooperation agreement signed between France and China for research into emerging diseases. In this second report into the history of the lab, Jacques Massey details how the agreement became a controversial issue within France’s government and intelligence agencies, notably because of the involvement of the Chinese military in scientific research, and the wider background of the accident-prone development of biological weapons.

EU's free trade dogma remains immune to Covid-19 pandemic

International — Analysis

Trade officials working for the European Commission may be having to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic but they are still busy negotiating free trade deals with countries around the world on behalf of the European Union. As Mediapart's Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports, these officials are behaving as if the Covid-19 outbreak has not had a dramatic effect on everything – including the way people regard world trade and globalisation.

Macron questions China's management of Covid-19 epidemic

France — Link

In an interview with the Financial Times, and during a week of heightening diplomatic tensions between Paris and Beijing, French President Emmanuel Macron said it would be 'naive' to believe the Chinese authorities had dealt better with the Covid-19 virus crisis than Western democracies, and that in China 'There are clearly things that have happened that we don't know about'.

China denies criticising French Covid-19 response

France — Link

The Chinese ambassador to France was summoned by the foreign ministry in Paris after his embassy posted online criticism of French management of the Covid-19 epidemic, which Chinese officials have since insisted was a 'misunderstanding'.

Proof of French government's lies over shortages of protective masks

France — Investigation

An investigation by Mediapart has revealed the chaotic management at the highest levels of the French state over the crucial issue of providing protective masks to help tackle the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Our probe, which has analysed the situation since January and is based on numerous witness accounts and documentary evidence, highlights the hidden shortages, the unreliable health instructions, the neglected offers of help with importing masks, the continuing shortage of stocks and the way that some companies have been favoured. It also reveals the lies that have accompanied this mismanagement. Meanwhile hundreds of nurses have become infected with the virus. Yann Philippin, Antton Rouget and Marine Turchi report.