JACQUES WITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
French President Emmanuel Macron caused shockwaves on both sides of the Atlantic when he questioned Europe’s loyalty to the United States.
Macron spoke to reporters Political Europe and French newspaper echoes, It says the “greatest danger” Europe faces is that it “gets caught up in crises that are not ours, which prevent it from building its strategic autonomy,” especially when it comes to the US’s escalating tensions with China over Taiwan. In the interviewHe suggested the “worst thing” would be “taking our cue from the US agenda and Chinese overreaction”.
Elected officials in both the United States and Europe criticized Macron’s comments, which were released Friday before China began military exercises around Taiwan in response to the Taiwanese president’s visit to the United States last week.
Parliamentary Association on China (IPAC) said Report Dhat Macron’s comments were “grossly out of touch” with a feeling across European leadership: “You don’t speak for Europe,” it said.
Noah Parkin, senior adviser to the China practice at research provider Rhodium Group, called Macron’s comments “relevant” from a US perspective in a conversation with Michael Martin. NPR’s Morning Edition.
“I don’t think Macron’s messages necessarily reflect the European consensus on China,” he said.
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Highlights of the interview
Macron’s comments are troubling
Anyone who has seen the trip, I think Macron’s interactions with Xi Jinping and the messages he has sent in many interviews, is from America’s perspective. But I think we have to remember that France is only one of 27 EU countries, and many other countries think differently.
European criticism of Macron’s comments
I don’t think you’re going to see European leaders come out and publicly condemn or criticize Macron. For example, we have seen many senior German officials come out and criticize Macron. [but] We’ll have to see how this plays out. I think we are going to have serious discussions in the coming months within the EU about China policy.
On Macron’s call for more strategic autonomy
France has long promoted this idea of strategic autonomy, and it began in earnest during the Trump administration. The United States was concerned about China taking forceful decisions in Europe.
On the relations between the United States and France
Looking ahead to the controversy over AUKUS, the nuclear submarine treaty between the US, UK and Australia, I think France and the US have gained. Europe and the United States have moved beyond the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. So my sense is that it’s certainly relevant, but it’s something that Europe and America can get to.
John Johnson and Miranda Kennedy edited this story for digital.
“Friend of animals everywhere. Devoted analyst. Total alcohol scholar. Infuriatingly humble food trailblazer.”