French President Emmanuel Macron has decided to double down on his strategic autonomy policy thesis and declared that Europe should not be forced to side with Beijing or Washington on Taiwan … Macron, on a state visit to Amsterdam, proclaimed that being an ally of the United States “does not mean being a vassal” and thrust both criticism and praise at the country.
Macron doubles down on Europe’s strategic autonomy policy on the Taiwan issue
French President Emmanuel Macron has reinforced his own stance on French and European allegiance in the event of a conflict in Taiwan. During a recent official visit to Amsterdam, Macron doubled down on his earlier statements, saying that Europe should remain neutral and refused to take any side in a war conflict.
At a press conference he held with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on April 12, Macron said
Being an ally does not mean being a vassal…
does not mean that we do not have the right to think for ourselves.
These remarks complemented statements expressed by Macron during his visit to Chinese President Xi, in which he confirmed his belief in the principle of “strategic autonomy” and said that Europe could not possibly take action in Taiwan. Macron explained that any statement on the matter would only cause further tension on all sides involved
At that time, Macron also said that “the paradox would be to be overcome by panic and to believe that we are just followers of the United States,” and denied that they are considered allies of the United States and are involved in the turmoil.
Positive and Negative Reactions
Macron’s remarks have sparked a wide range of reactions, some praising his international vision and others criticizing his attitude toward China. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio downplayed Macron’s views on the Taiwan issue, declaring that if Europe “won’t take sides with the U.S. and China over Taiwan, it probably shouldn’t take sides on Ukraine either.”(34)(35))
Former U.S. President Donald Trump also expressed his views on the issue, sternly stating that while Macron is his friend, he is “done with China and kissing his ass.” Macron declined to comment on the issue, saying Trump was part of the escalation he wanted to avoid.
On April 4, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia (OPEC+) announced a series of voluntary oil production cuts, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he was no longer interested in pleasing the United States
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