Western Europe must pursue “strategic autonomy” and avoid getting dragged into confrontations on behalf of the US, Emmanuel Macron told Politico on Sunday. The French president has made similar assertions before, but has nevertheless followed Washington’s lead on Ukraine.
In an interview while traveling within China this week, Macron told the news site that “Europe faces agreat risk” if it “gets caught up in crises that are not ours.”
“The paradox would be that, overcome with panic, we believe we are just America’s followers,” Macron said. “The question Europeans need to answer… is it in our interest to accelerate [a crisis] on Taiwan? No. The worse thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and take our cue from the US agenda and a Chinese overreaction.”
Macron met with Chinese President Xi Jinping prior to the interview, concluding afterwards that if “Europeans cannot resolve the crisis in Ukraine, how can we credibly say on Taiwan: ‘watch out, if you do something wrong we will be there’?”