Sunak: China represents ‘systemic challenge for the world order’
French President Emmanuel Macron caused an upset after saying that Europe should not be a “follower” of the US agenda amid escalating tensions between China and Taiwan. The comments were made after a three-day state visit to China last week and have prompted widespread backlash. But do you think he has caved into China’s wishes? Vote in our poll.
Mr Macron said: “The question Europeans need to answer is the following: is it in our interest to accelerate [a crisis] in Taiwan? No.
“The worst 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.”
In an interview with Les Echos, he said that “strategic autonomy” should be Europe’s goal: “We Europeans need to wake up. Our priority is not to adapt to the agenda of others in all regions of the world.”
Referring to the tensions between the US and China, he added that it would be a “trap for Europe [to get] caught up in crises that are not ours”.
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A senior analyst from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Dr Malcolm Davis afterwards said that Mr Macron’s comments were “ill-conceived at best, and poorly timed” due to the need for unity between Europe and the US to support Ukraine.
He added: “He’s dramatically weakened trans-Atlantic unity in the face of a determined challenge from Moscow and Beijing, by promoting his concept strategic autonomy for Europe (with France leading of course – I wonder what the Germans must think?) and in doing so weakened NATO.”
Beijing views Taiwan, which is a self-ruled democracy, as Chinese territory and has frequently threatened to take the island by force. Over the weekend, the People’s Liberation Army sent 232 warplanes towards and around Taiwan, inside the country’s air defence identification zone.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen accompanied Mr Macron on his state visit to China and previously detailed that the EU should recognise China’s position and forge a common approach. She was left out of several diplomatic occasions during her stay.
So what do YOU think? Has the French President caved to China after refusing to follow US on Taiwan? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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