Macron wants Europe to become 'third superpower' following meeting with Xi Jinping

French President Emmanuel Macron said he supports "strategic autonomy" for Europe, which he wants to become a "third superpower" to avoid getting dragged into a confrontation between China and the United States over Taiwan. Speaking to POLITICO on his way back from a trip to China, Macron said the risk Europe faces is getting "caught up in crises that are not ours, which prevents it from building its strategic autonomy."

Macron made the statements after spending three days in China, including a six hour meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The report noted that the Chinese officials are in support of Europe moving to a place where they are not dependent on other countries. 

When it comes to the concerns over Taiwan’s sovereignty the US has vowed to arm and defend the island nation. China claims the island as their territory and has threatened to invade in recent years.

Macron said on the issue of Taiwan, "The question Europeans need to answer … is it in our interest to accelerate [a crisis] in 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."

He continued, "Europeans cannot resolve the crisis in Ukraine; how can we credibly say in Taiwan, 'watch out, if you do something wrong we will be there?' If you really want to increase tensions that’s the way to do it."

European commission President Ursla von der Leyen was on the trip with Macron and stated that "Stability in the Taiwan Strait is of paramount importance," but that she told the Chinese President in their meeting "The threat [of] the use of force to change the status quo is unacceptable."

Just after the French president departed, China began conducting large military exercises around Taiwan in response to the Taiwanese President Tsia Ing-Wen beginning a diplomatic tour that included a meeting with the US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. 

In addition to military dependency, Macron also warned of Europe's dependency on weapons, energy, and the US dollar, Stating that "If the tensions between the two superpowers heat up … we won’t have the time nor the resources to finance our strategic autonomy and we will become vassals."

Image: Title: Macron


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