French President Emmanuel Macron warned fellow European countries last week that it is important that they make their own decisions when it comes to China and international diplomacy and that France was not a “vassal” of the U.S.
Macron warned that Europe should not be used as a chess piece between two superpowers.
“Is it in our interest to accelerate on the subject of Taiwan? No,” Macron told reporters. “The worst thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and adapt to the American rhythm and a Chinese overreaction.”
Macron said if a war between the U.S. and China “duopoly” did break out, Europe would not have the time to build up its own autonomy and “would become vassals instead of a third pole if we had a few years to build it.”
He said the paradox would be that, “overcome with panic, we believe we are just America’s followers.”
Macron, who visited Chinese leader Xi Jinping last week, insisted that Paris has not changed its “status quo” position on the island. European leaders have recently made the trek to meet with Xi because China is such a pivotal trading partner. Macron was joined by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met with Xi before Macon’s visit.
“It’s the One-China policy and a Pacific resolution of the situation. That’s what I said in my one-to-one meeting with Xi Jinping, that’s what was said everywhere, we haven’t changed,” he said.
The Chinese newspapers, The Global Times and the People’s Daily, embraced Macron’s “rational and pragmatic warning.”
The Bottom Line
As we have forecast, the 20th century was the American century, the 21st century will be the Chinese century. The business of America is War, the business of China is business… and Macron knows it.
On the bottom line, with France being one of the largest exporters of luxury retail items and China buying up a third of the luxury goods (prior to the COVID War), Macron and much of the world know that the Chinese market of 1.4 billion people is a “must” to sell to. Therefore, it is not about war or peace, vassal or no vassal with Macron. It is about shoring up and building up the export to China foundation.
TRENDPOST: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said time and again that Europe is essentially owned by the U.S., and the fallout from Macron’s comments only proves his point.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., threatened U.S. support for Ukraine if the French leader didn’t get back into line. He tweeted that if Europe doesn’t “pick sides between the U.S. and China over Taiwan, then maybe we shouldn’t be picking sides either [on Ukraine].”
President Donald Trump, who never had a good relationship with Macron, accused him of kissing Xi’s “ass.”
We have noted that Macron has faced tough criticism at home over his decision to increase the pension age in his country by two years, and he may also have a bitter taste in his mouth after the AUKUS submarine deal. (See “U.S. AND AUSTRALIA RAMPING UP FIGHT WITH CHINA” 13 Dec 2022 and “U.S. RAMPING UP CONFRONTATION WITH CHINA.” 19 Jul 2022.)
Annalena Baerbock, the war-hawk German foreign minister, warned China that an invasion of Taiwan would have a devastating impact on the world and severely fray China’s relationship with the EU.
“A military escalation in the Taiwan Strait, through which 50 percent of world trade flows every day, would be a horror scenario for the entire world,” she said, according to Politico.
The report said she made the comment at a joint press conference with Qin Gang, her Chinese counterpart.
“Conflicts can only be resolved peacefully. A unilateral and violent change in the status quo would not be acceptable to us as Europeans,” she said.
Qin said fellow citizens on both sides of the strait want national unity.
“That is our core interest,” he said.
“China-Europe relations are not targeted, dependent, or subject to third parties,” he said, according to The Associated Press.
Macron said Europe should focus on its own independence from the U.S. when it comes to weapons and energy.
“Being a friend doesn’t mean that you have to be a vassal,” Macron said. “Just because we’re allies, it doesn’t mean (that) we no longer have the right to think for ourselves.”
Sun Keqin, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the paper that Macron’s statement was the result of the “sober awakening from the U.S.’s selfish policies on Europe, especially since the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and also from being emboldened by his ‘very successful’ visit to China, during which he saw China’s goodwill toward France and the huge potential of cooperation with China.”