French president Emmanuel Macron has decided to double down on his strategic autonomy policy thesis, declaring that Europe should not be forced to side with Beijing or Washington on Taiwan. Macron declared that being a U.S. ally ‘does not mean being a vassal’ in a state visit to Amsterdam, propping criticism and praise alike for his position.
Macron Doubles Down on Strategic Autonomy Policy for Europe on Taiwan Issue
French president Emmanuel Macron has reinforced his stance when it comes to the allegiance of France and Europe in the case of a potential conflict in Taiwan. In a recent state visit to Amsterdam, Macron doubled down on his earlier remarks, stating that Europe should remain neutral, rejecting to be grouped with any sides in a war conflict.
In a press conference given alongside Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on April 12, Macron stated:
Being an ally does not mean being a vassal… doesn’t mean that we don’t have the right to think for ourselves.
The statements come as a complement to what Macron expressed during his visit to president Xi in China, affirming his belief in the doctrine of “strategic autonomy” and stating Europe had no possibility of taking action in Taiwan. Macron explained any statements on the case would just only serve to bring more tensions to the parts involved
At that time, Macron also rejected the idea of being caught in the turmoil, considered allies of the U.S. “The paradox would be that, overcome with panic, we believe we are just America’s followers,” he stated.
Positive and Negative Reactions
Macron’s statements have spurred a myriad of reactions, some praising its international vision, and others criticizing its attitude towards China. U.S. senator Marco Rubio disregarded Macron’s take on the Taiwan issue, declaring 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.”
Former U.S. president Donald Trump also gave his take on the issue, being harsh with Macron stating that while he was a friend, he was “over with China, kissing his ass.” macron declined to comment on the issue, stating that Trump was part of the escalation that he wanted to avoid.
Macron’s statements are part of a recent chain of events that challenge the hegemony and influence of the U.S. in Europe and the Middle East. on April 4, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia (OPEC+) announced a series of spontaneous oil production cuts, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman stated he was no longer interested in pleasing the U.S.
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