European foreign policy: "Abandoned by all good spirits": German politicians condemn Macron's comments on China

French President Emmanuel Macron apparently feels that the United States is too much of a foreign influence when it comes to foreign policy.

European foreign policy: "Abandoned by all good spirits": German politicians condemn Macron's comments on China

French President Emmanuel Macron apparently feels that the United States is too much of a foreign influence when it comes to foreign policy. In an interview, he now called for Europe to play a more independent role in relation to America. This in turn has caused sharp criticism among German politicians. "Macron seems to have been abandoned by all good spirits," said CDU foreign politician Norbert Röttgen of the "Bild" newspaper. "While it is America and not France or Germany that is providing significant support to Ukraine and thus defending Europe, Macron is demanding a departure from America. While China is currently practicing the attack on Taiwan, Macron is demanding a rapprochement with China," Röttgen continued.

In an interview published in the French newspaper "Les Echos" on Sunday, the French President demanded that Europe should not be a "follower" on the Taiwan question. "The worst thing would be to think that we Europeans have to be followers and adapt to the American rhythm and a Chinese overreaction," said the head of state.

Europe must "wake up". "Our priority cannot be to adapt to the agenda of others in all regions of the world," said Macron. Europe risks "becoming vassals, while we can be the third pole if we have a few years to build it up," said Macron, who met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing last week. The interview was conducted on Friday during his visit to China.

With such "naive and dangerous rhetoric," Macron is weakening and dividing Europe, Röttgen added. The issue of Taiwan stands for China's claim to global power; a world order based on Chinese ideas is not in Europe's interest.

The SPD foreign policy expert Metin Hakverdi told the "Tagesspiegel" (Tuesday edition) that it was "a serious mistake" for the West to allow itself to be divided when it came to dealing with Beijing. "That weakens our Western community of values," said Hakverdi. "The West, that is, Europe and the USA, must always try to act together, not divided, when it comes to China."

The CDU European politician Christoph Ploß also rejected Macron's proposal. "If Macron now strives for a separate path for Europe without the close alliance with the USA, that would be fatal," Ploß told the "Tagesspiegel". The USA is Germany's most important partner outside of Europe.

"Anyone who stands up for freedom and democracy is not a follower," criticized the chairman of the European People's Party (EPP), Manfred Weber. The EU states made themselves unbelievable "if, on the one hand, you demand sovereignty for Europe and then conclude every economic deal you can get with China," he told the newspapers of the Bayern media group. "The Chinese leadership will not respect the Europeans like that," emphasized the EPP leader.

During his visit to China, Macron also advocated a relaunch of Franco-Chinese economic relations. Numerous economic agreements were signed during the state visit. For example, the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus wants to double its production in China, EDF is taking a stake in an offshore wind farm in Jiangsu, and Alstom, L'Oréal and other French companies have also signed contracts.

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