TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — French President Emmanuel Macron was condemned by politicians, scholars, and journalists from various countries for his remarks that appeared to demonstrate submissiveness and pandering to Beijing while showing no concern for future possible Chinese military aggression against Taiwan.
On his return flight from a three-day state visit to China on-board COTAM Unité, France’s Air Force One, Macron told Politico that Europe needs to lessen its reliance on the U.S. and evade becoming involved in a clash between China and the U.S. over Taiwan. Macron argued that in order to achieve his goal of “strategic autonomy” for Europe, it must avoid getting involved in crises that are "not ours."
He expressed fears that "overcome with panic" over a crisis in the Taiwan Strait, European nations would "believe we are just America's followers." The French president then stressed that the question European countries must grapple with is whether it is in "our interest to accelerate [a crisis] on Taiwan?"
Macron asserted that the answer is "No. The worse thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and take our cue from the U.S. agenda and a Chinese overreaction." He added that 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’? If you really want to increase tensions that’s the way to do it."
His comments on Taiwan quickly drew criticism from many prominent figures in the West. Paul Massaro, a senior policy advisor for the U.S. Helsinki Commission, posted a meme declaring that "macronizing" has joined "scholzing" in the "lexicon of shame." The meme defined macronizing as "Deliberately increasing one's dependency on China whilst lecturing European partners about naivety and the need to boost the EU's strategic autonomy."
Jakub Janda, director of the European Values Center for Security Policy (EVC) based in Prague, posted a tweet in which he wrote that Macron had previously thrown Central Eastern Europe "under the bus" when he tried to appease Russia and is now doing the same with Taiwan. Janda blamed Macron's behavior on "ego and greed for French companies to get bloody Chinese contracts." He warned that France is not a trustworthy ally as it will "always sell you out."
Andreas Fulda, a German political scientist and scholar, posted a tweet in which he said that Macron is wrong because the rivalry between Beijing and Washington is "not just about power, but about values." Fulda warned that if Taiwan is invaded by China, "the liberal international order would be history" and that the regime under Xi Jinping (習近平) is a "threat to freedom and democracy everywhere."
Historian and political scientist Liana Fix wrote on Twitter that Macron was clear about his departure from U.S. policy on Taiwan and that his stance "brutally undermines his credibility as (a) leader in Europe." Senator Macro Rubio posted a video on Twitter in which he asked whether Macron now speaks for Europe, and if that is the case, Rubio indicated the U.S. should withdraw military support for Europe because "China is very excited about what he said."
At the end of the article, Politico pointed out that the Elysée Palace, the French President's office, demanded that it be allowed to proofread all the comments cited by Macron in the article. The news agency pointed out that some of the remarks by Macron in the interview in which he spoke "even more frankly about Taiwan and Europe's strategic autonomy" were redacted.
“Macroning” joins “Scholzing” in the lexicon of shame pic.twitter.com/NDHmowBjhx— Paul Massaro (@apmassaro3) April 9, 2023
France threw Central Eastern Europe under the bus when Macron tried to appease Russia.— Jakub Janda 楊雅嚳 (@_JakubJanda) April 9, 2023
Now he is doing the same on Taiwan, just because of this ego and greed for French companies to get bloody Chinese contracts.
France cannot be trusted as an ally, it will always sell you out. pic.twitter.com/aN6GybUvfX
Macron is wrong: The US-China rivalry is not just about power, but about values. If Taiwan falls the liberal international order would be history. The Xi regime is a threat to freedom and democracy everywhere. We must stand up to the CCP and defend our democratic way of life. https://t.co/nFddv8hfyG— Andreas Fulda 〔錯誤字元無法儲存〕〔錯誤字元無法儲存〕 〔錯誤字元無法儲存〕〔錯誤字元無法儲存〕 (@AMFChina) April 9, 2023
Macron could not be clearer - and the even clearer parts were removed by Politico on the request of the Élysée. In his view, Taiwan is not Europe‘s problem, and Europe should not become „vassals“ of the United States. This brutally undermines his credibility as leader in Europe pic.twitter.com/BX2hUWyAmH— Dr. Liana Fix (@LianaFix) April 9, 2023
We need to find out if @EmmanuelMacron speaks for Europe— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 9, 2023
After his 6 hour meeting in China he told reporters that Europe should create distance with the U.S. & should not get involved in supporting America over China when it comes to Taiwanhttps://t.co/xoFmUGkumH pic.twitter.com/Ps718bXSyn