Macron has been heavily criticized by the US for his statements. “If Europe won’t take a side in the US-China conflict over Taiwan, neither should we. Let them handle Ukraine,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio said on Twitter.
In the interview, Macron talked about one of his favorite topics, the EU’s strategic autonomy. Europe must learn to stand on its own two feet, he said in a speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris five years ago, and no longer depend on America and China.
The speech was met with some skepticism at the time, but according to Macron, France had won the “ideological war” on the matter. All countries in Europe agree that the EU should be less dependent on others for its security, supply of essential raw materials and production of chips and other high technologies. Macron said in the interview that Europe should not be a “slave” but a “third pole” with the US and China.
But even as Europe realizes the importance of strategic autonomy, it risks being dragged into crises that are “not ours,” according to the French president. “Are we interested in accelerating on the issue of Taiwan? No. The worst thing is that the Europeans have to be complacent on this issue and adapt to the US rhythm and Chinese overreaction. Why should we adjust to the rhythm that others choose? Europe must decide its own position, and “to the ban” Deterrence against” must not conform to logic, Macron said.
Macron’s position is in line with French tradition. In the 1960s, President de Gaulle demanded an autonomous status between the United States and the Soviet Union. Macron’s critics, however, argue that he is playing into China’s hands, while Europe cannot currently cede any autonomy from the US.
Macron does not want Europe to be absorbed in the conflict over Taiwan, Dutch-American geopolitical analyst Ivo Dalter wrote on Twitter. “But he’s fine with relying on America’s security obligations to handle crises like the war in Ukraine. That’s not strategic autonomy. That’s strategic stupidity.”
Macron doesn’t want Europe to get into “crises that are not ours” like Taiwan. But he’s fine with relying on U.S. security commitments to deal with crises in Europe like Ukraine. It is not “strategic autonomy”. That is strategic stupidity. https://t.co/psI8G6c97Y
— Ivo Daalder (@IvoHDaalder) April 9, 2023
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