“Iris as an institute has no position”, reacts Pascal Boniface, its director.

Pascal Boniface wanted to defend Monday the institute he founded 30 years ago, today accused of appeasement with China.

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“Iris as an institute has no position. My position on China has been clear for a long time. I am critical of the regime, sensitive to the plight of the Uyghurs, in Hong Kong”, reacted on franceinfo Monday, September 20 Pascal Boniface, the founder and director of the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Iris). An organization questioned in the report of the Strategic Research Institute of the Military School (Irsem). The document highlights networks of influence used by the Chinese regime to defend its image and silence any criticism.

In its report, Irsem highlights three forums organized in 2017 and 2019 by Iris. Pascal Boniface wishes to qualify: “Iris has indeed organized three events with the Chinese embassy as it organizes with other embassies, including the American embassy.”

Irsem specifies that Iris publishes “also notes less favorable to China”. But that is not enough for Pascal Boniface who wishes to rule out all complacency. “I stood in solidarity with French researchers and colleagues who were attacked by the embassy [chinoise, NDLR]. The founder of Iris believes “that we can dialogue with the Chinese. This type of accusation has a little effect, if not a will, of making a dialogue with China impossible”, he argued.

In a press release published by Iris, Pascal Boniface adds that the institute he directs “has the gift of irritating some people who fear public debate”. His team will now apply to “read carefully” The report, “to be able to answer more precisely”.

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