Following the three day visit, the French leader made a surprise statement to journalists on the plane home, in which he said that Europe should not follow the U.S. over Taiwan – and may abandon the dollar.
Former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio took to Twitter to explain the implications of this new position. Namely, why should the U.S. continue to bankroll NATO? Why, indeed, should it even concern itself with “European security” at all?
But, if our allies’ position—if, in fact, Macron speaks for all of Europe, and their position now is they’re not gonna pick sides between the U.S. and China over Taiwan—maybe we shouldn’t be picking sides either. Maybe we should basically say we’re gonna focus on Taiwan and the threats China poses, and you guys handle Ukraine and Europe.
This is how Rubio sees the ongoing war in Ukraine, in which U.S.-backed NATO created an army to combat Russia. That army has been destroyed, and the war aims of the U.S. in Ukraine look more distant than ever. Against expectations, Russia shows no sign of economic collapse, and unlike the West does not struggle to resupply either troops – or ammunition.
Macron’s call for European Home Rule has opened a window of opportunity for a U.S. exit from the war with Russia, allowing the neoconservative deep state to move on to a war with China.
EU leader on the sidelines
The European Union (EU) Commission leader Ursula von der Leyen was humiliated in several ways during her visit – her treatment perhaps reflecting the fact that she is not a head of state and has won no election.
While Macron enjoyed six hours with Chinese President Xi Jinping, including a trip to the Chinese leader’s parental home in Guangzhou, Von Der Leyen was excluded from some state events and sent home early.
Von der Leyen, who is the de facto leader of the EU, appeared to threaten China in a speech in the week before the visit.
How China continues to interact with Putin’s war will be a determining factor for EU-China relations going forward…
Von der Leyen went on to challenge China over Taiwan, her speech a warning to the Chinese that Ursula is watching. Her remarks to Xi concerning Taiwan seem reasonable in isolation but bizarre when considered against EU support for the proxy war with Russia.
The use of force to change the status quo is unacceptable, and it is important that the tensions that might occur should be resolved through dialogue…
The Chinese have submitted a realistic peace plan for Ukraine while Von der Leyen arms Ukraine and insists that the Russians must simply leave the battlefield and go home.
The importance of the EU Commission and its leader was demonstrated by the Chinese response.
Taiwan straight talk
Speaking to Von der Leyen’s remarks, Xi responded during her visit by saying anyone who thought they could influence Beijing on Taiwan was deluded.
If anyone wants to make a fuss about ‘one China,’ the Chinese government and people will never agree. If anyone counts on China to make concessions … over Taiwan, that’s an illusion.
Von der Leyen was sent home – and not via the expected diplomatic channels. Instead, as reported in the Berlin newspaper Berliner Zeitung, she went through passport control, joining the queue with ordinary passengers. The Chinese do not consider her opinions to be based in reality, and the press in China clearly considered her a mouthpiece for the U.S. deep state.
Diplomatic wave making
The Chinese have been on a diplomatic offensive of late, brokering deals in the Middle East and deepening ties with Russia. Now they move to support a vision of Europe as something more than a satellite of the United States. The Chinese clearly see the EU as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy – a position reinforced by Von der Leyen’s remarks.
The Chinese have been handed an easy victory. Why should China listen to Ursula von der Leyen’s “deluded” lectures? The EU in reality is in very poor economic shape, and relies heavily on Chinese supply lines. It has no army, and its sanctions regime is so limited as to only really apply to itself.
The European Commission was deliberately sidelined by the Chinese, who succeeded in making its leader look like an irrelevance.
The French leader Emmanuel Macron has long entertained a vision of an independent Europe – ruled by himself.
The success of the Chinese charm offensive lies partly in its appeal to his vanity. Clearly the suggestion that Macron might be the man to lead a new Europe was music to the ears of the self-styled Jupiter, who said at an Atlantic Council meeting in February 2021 that Europe should seek “strategic autonomy” – spending more on defense to police its own affairs.
… [T]he Middle East and Africa is our neighborhood, not the U.S.’s….Now we are operating in a new era.
The Chinese have appealed to the Macron who has long sought a greater role for France – and for himself – in global affairs. The French have traditionally sought to maintain an exceptional position between powers, taking a “neither Washington nor Moscow” stance under De Gaulle.
The appeal of remaking himself in the image of this French national legend is too compelling for Macron to refuse. He has secured Chinese cooperation in a strategic deal, and was accompanied by around a hundred French leaders from finance and industry. Macron meant business while the EU was talking shop.
The appeal of a multipolar world to the French leader mirrors that to the Chinese. There appears to be some mutual recognition of this shared interest in a world which permits both Europe and China to be regional powers. Quoted in Politico:
“Europe is more willing to accept a world in which China becomes a regional hegemon,” said Yanmei Xie, a geopolitics analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics. “Some of its leaders even believe such a world order may be more advantageous to Europe.”
The EU Commission president appeared to be convinced she could pressure the Chinese over Ukraine and Taiwan. The Chinese are not listening.
With Von der Leyen urging the line of the U.S. deep state, Macron took an entirely different view, warning that Europe should avoid following the U.S. blindly. In remarks reported by Politico, Macron appeared to be convinced of the need to secure European independence – in foreign policy and in economic affairs – from those of the U.S. government.
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…
He also suggested Europe should reduce its dependence on the ‘extraterritoriality of the U.S. dollar.’
These statements are a remarkable break with diplomatic form. In a highly unusual admission, Politico pointed out at the end of their piece that Macron had gone even further in his remarks, but that the French authorities had insisted on editing them out.
The quotes in this article were all actually said by the president, but some parts of the interview in which the president spoke even more frankly about Taiwan and Europe’s strategic autonomy were cut out by the Elysée [The French Government].
End of an era?
China has made significant moves in the past few months to secure its position in a new multipolar order. Following a de facto alliance with oil and gas producing Russia, China has strengthened its regional and international position in brokering Middle East deals and advancing membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as the multinational BRICS bloc.
It has taken steps to create a parallel economic and trade system which moves off the U.S. dollar – a development which would end the current U.S. economic model with likely disastrous effects for the U.S. economy.
While former allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have moved away from U.S. influence, Macron’s idea strikes at the heart of U.S. power abroad, charting an alternative future for Europe outside the dollar and with diplomatic interests disconnected from the neoconservative faction’s pursuit of perpetual war.
Macron’s dream of magnification may never be realized, but this meeting makes one thing abundantly clear. The faction directing the United States is no longer in charge of the world, and its former allies are making plans for a future beyond the horizon of its fading dominance.
The capture of the United States by a secret state is costing the American people dearly. It is a clear indictment of its disastrous failure that some of the closest former allies of the USA are now looking elsewhere.