On Wednesday (30 November), French President Emmanuel Macron visited NASA Headquarters and stressed the importance norms for operating within space. He began a trip to the United States to talk with American leaders about issues ranging in scope from the war in Ukraine to China.
Macron arrived in Washington Tuesday (29 November) to make his second state visit in the United States. He was expected to confront president Joe Biden about new American subsidies, which are fueling European leaders’ economic decline following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2017.
Macron made his first public appearance at the headquarters U.S. Space Agency with Vice President Kamala Harris. Harris stated that the two would be discussing collaboration in space to combat climate change.
Macron stated that space is “a new place for conflict” and that France and the United States should work together to establish rules and norms, as they share a commitment both to science and democratic values.
Macron spoke in English and said that “we have crazy players in the space, and there are rogue states there, and we also have new hybrid attacks”.
During a Paris meeting last year, Harris and Macron announced new US–French cooperation in space.
France and other countries joined the United States in excluding destructive, direct-ascent antisatellite missile test testing following Russia’s strike on one of its satellites orbiting in orbit last year. This caused debris to be created and was ridiculed by the United States as well as its allies.
After having last tested such a missile in 2008 and then launching it again in 2008, the United States announced in April that it would not be testing them again.
Macron visited Ukraine as NATO ministers met at Bucharest. They pledged more assistance to Ukraine to stop Russia’s attack on its energy infrastructure during winter.
The United States and France are founding member of the alliance. US Secretary Antony Blinken stated that they were also discussing how to address the challenges posed by China’s military buildup, and its co-operation, with Russia. Macron stated in the past that China shouldn’t be the focus of NATO.
John Kirby, White House spokesperson for national security, told reporters during a briefing that China would be top of the agenda during Macron’s visit. This was “because of China’s global influence and demonstrations and because of the security threats that China continues to pose in particular the Indo-Pacific region”.
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