Taiwan: Macron warns Europe not to become U.S. follower in conflict

French President Emmanuel Macron pointed to the risks Europe faces in the conflict over Taiwan in an interview published on Monday following a three-day state visit to China.

“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 said.

The interview was conducted earlier on Friday and published by the French newspaper Les Echos.

“Europe should avoid falling into the trap of being caught in a foreign crisis.

“Europe faced the threat of becoming a vassal between the United States and China, while it could instead be a third pole,” Macron said.

The French president’s comments drew a heated reaction in Germany from across the political spectrum.

Norbert Röttgen, a foreign policy spokesman for the opposition conservative CDU, told the mass-circulation Bild newspaper: “Macron appears to have taken leave of his senses.”

He accused him of dividing and weakening Europe with naïve and dangerous rhetoric.

Bijan Djir-Sarai, general secretary of the liberal FDP, a junior government partner, said the position taken up by Macron was not a sound strategy for Europe, as the US and Europe should work together.

Speaking to the Tagesspiegel, Metin Hakverdi of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s centre-left SPD said: “It is a serious mistake to allow ourselves as the West do be divided in our dealings with Beijing of all things.”

Dietmar Bartsch of the hard-left Die Linke opposition party backed Macron’s aim of European strategic autonomy, as long as it was linked to becoming a force for peace in the world.

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