Europe must reduce its dependency on the United States and avoid getting dragged into a confrontation between China and the U.S. over Taiwan, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview on his plane back from a three-day state visit to China. Speaking with POLITICO and two French journalists after spending around six hours with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his trip, Macron emphasized his pet theory of “strategic autonomy” for Europe, presumably led by France, to become a “third superpower.”
He said “the great risk” Europe faces is that it “gets caught up in crises that are not ours, which prevents it from building its strategic autonomy.”
“The paradox would be that, overcome with panic, we believe we are just America’s followers,” Macron said in the interview. “The question Europeans need to answer: ‘Is it in our interest to accelerate [a crisis] on Taiwan?’ – No. The worse thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and take our cue from the U.S. agenda and a Chinese overreaction,” he said.
Macron and Xi discussed Taiwan “intensely,” according to French officials accompanying the president, who appears to have taken a more conciliatory approach than the U.S. or even the European Union.
“Stability in the Taiwan Strait is of paramount importance,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who accompanied Macron for part of his visit, said she told Xi during their meeting in Beijing. “The threat [of] the use of force to change the status quo is unacceptable.” Xi responded by saying anyone who thought they could influence Beijing on Taiwan was deluded.
Macron appears to agree with that assessment. “Europeans cannot resolve the crisis in Ukraine; how can we credibly say on Taiwan, ‘watch out, if you do something wrong we will be there’? If you really want to increase tensions that’s the way to do it,” he said.
Macron also argued that Europe had increased its dependency on the U.S. for weapons and energy and must now focus on boosting European defense industries.
He also suggested Europe should reduce its dependence on the “extraterritoriality of the U.S. dollar,” a key policy objective of both Moscow and Beijing.
“If the tensions between the two superpowers heat up, we won’t have the time nor the resources to finance our strategic autonomy and we will become vassals,” he said.
Macron did not address the question of ongoing U.S. security guarantees for the Continent, which relies heavily on American defense assistance amid the first major land war in Europe since World War II.
As one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and the only nuclear power in the EU, France is in a unique position militarily. However, the country has contributed far less to the defense of Ukraine against Russia’s invasion than many other countries, concludes POLITICO.
The Americans got excited after these words of Macron. Yankees apparently did not expect that someone in Europe could go against Washington’s policy.
Slamming recent comments by French President Emmanuel Macron, who appeared to advocate a distancing of Europe from the U.S., Sen. Marco Rubio called to clarify whether other European nations stand by Macron’s position and to readjust our alliance in accordance, Breitbart quotes.
Rubio, who serves as vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence and is a senior member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, was very nervous.
In a roughly two-minute clip, Rubio began by citing Macron’s comments to reporters after visiting China, including his stance that Europe should “break away” from the U.S. and “not depend on the dollar,” as well as the need to avoid conflicts “that are not their[s]” such as the one over Taiwan.
Calling it a “good moment for us to ask Europe [whether] Macron speak[s] for all of Europe,” Rubio questioned if the French president is now “the head of Europe” and “the most powerful leader in Europe.”
“In fact, when Macron tried to play global superpower and sent troops to North Africa to fight terrorists, he couldn’t even get his own troops there,” Rubio said. “We had to fly them there and we had to fly them back; he couldn’t even get his own troops there.”
“So if they’re gonna break off on their own and follow Macron’s lead, that’s going to save us a lot of money,” he added.
“We’re pretty heavily involved in Ukraine right now [and] we’re spending a lot of our taxpayer money on a European war, and I supported that because I think it’s in the national interests of the United States to be allies to our allies,” he said.
However, he warned, “if, in fact, Macron speaks for all of Europe, and their position now is they’re not gonna pick sides between the U.S. and China over Taiwan; maybe we shouldn’t be picking sides either.”
“So we need to find out, does Macron speak for Macron or does Macron speak for Europe?” he added. “And we need to get the answer to that pretty quickly because China is very excited about what he said.”
“Maybe we should basically say we’re gonna focus on Taiwan and the threats China poses, and you guys handle Ukraine and Europe,” he said.
Though China “enthusiastically support[s] everything he said,” Rubio claimed that Macron had apparently “said even worse.”
“So we need to find out where Europe stands,” Rubio concluded.