President Emmanuel Macron of France shocked Washington on April 8 by telling POLITICO that European nations should not “take [their] cue from the US agenda” on Taiwan. After spending three days in China, where he met with the communist leader and discussed Europe’s stance on escalating tensions in the Pacific area, Macron has made this comment. The GOP is outraged by Macron’s flip-flop, and Republican leaders are condemning his treachery.
“Embarrassing… disgraceful… and very geopolitically naïve.”
US Republicans are hitting back against French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Taiwan. https://t.co/UyMiXyWHmd
— POLITICOEurope (@POLITICOEurope) April 11, 2023
For whatever reason, Macron left his six-hour meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping believing that Europe might become the third powerhouse in the world. He doubted that foreign intervention in China was in his and his neighbors’ best interests, and he questioned why the United States would be expected to effectively protect Taiwan given its lackluster military attempts to aid Ukraine against Russia.
Macron warned that the European Union couldn’t afford for its members to “become followers on this topic” or risk “a Chinese overreaction.” Using the view that American authorities had established a “weaponization” of the US dollar in its use of economic sanctions, he also argued against European reliance on US weaponry, oil, and money. The French president argued that other nations would become “vassals” to China or the United States if they did not find a way “to finance [their] strategic autonomy.”
US conservatives have been critical of Macron’s comments. On Twitter, Republican Texas Senator John Cornyn questioned Macron’s stance on Taiwan while criticizing his stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also voiced his displeasure on Twitter, criticizing French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement that European countries shouldn’t intervene in crises that don’t directly impact them. The Florida senator also seized the chance to inquire of their fellow European politicians, “Is Macron now the head of Europe?”
If this is the case, Rubio argues that the United States should reconsider its current approach to supporting France.