France’s President Macron has caused a stir with several interviews on China policy. German politicians are shocked, a major German news agency sees Macron in line with the Chinese Communist Party. Yet he has not said much that is new, and on many basic points he is right.
First the „brain death“ of NATO, now the „affront“ to the United States: this is how German media portray Macron’s statements after his trip to China. Yet he merely warned against blind allegiance on the Taiwan issue.
One should neither follow American policy nor provoke a Chinese overreaction – that was the core statement in an interview with „Les Echos.“ When the time comes, the EU will have to define its own interests.
What is wrong with that? This is only an issue for those who act as if American and European interests were identical and as if the EU had to emulate the U.S. on the Taiwan issue as well. Macron clearly has a point here.
He is also right in his assessment that Europe must fight for „strategic autonomy“ and become a „third pole“ in the new multipolar world order. „Without this autonomy, we drop out of history,“ he warns.
What else? Already during the Cold War, the EU began to emancipate itself from the United States. In the last three decades, it has even tried to become an independent international actor. What is missing is „strategic autonomy.“
Giving up the struggle for autonomy now, at the very moment when new players are entering the world stage in the form of China, India, South Africa or Brazil, would be tantamount to abandoning oneself and burying the European project.
Macron said nothing else. And that, by the way, is exactly how he was understood in Brussels and Berlin. Neither the EU Commission nor the German government have distanced themselves from his interview. Criticism comes only from the second row.
However, the timing was unfortunate. Moreover, it remains unclear how the EU is supposed to achieve „strategic autonomy.“ The strategically important gas pipeline „Nord Stream“ was blown up, soon Germany will shut down the last nuclear power plants.
For rare earths and many „green“ technologies, EUropa is dependent on China, for better or worse. When it comes to armaments, nothing works without the USA. And now, with their IRA subsidy program, the Americans are even challenging our industry…
P.S. The fact that Macron was misunderstood is also due to „Politico“. The American portal, owned by Springer, has been trying to put the Frenchman in a bad light and stir up controversy since the beginning of the China trip. Most German media unfortunately get their quotes from „Politico“ and not from original French sources like „Les Echos.“ Some of it is also „Lost in Translation“, more here
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) The original post (in German) is here