Macron's Warning to Europe: Don't Be 'America's Followers'

French president is worried about tension over Taiwan; Graham open to using US forces
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2023 8:08 AM CDT
Macron's Warning to Europe: Don't Be 'America's Followers'
Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron walk in the garden of the Guandong province governor's residence, in Guangzhou, China, Friday, April 7, 2023.   (Jacques Witt, Pool via AP)

Tensions between the US and China over Taiwan continue to ratchet up. The latest example came over the weekend when GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said he is "very much open to using US forces to defend Taiwan, because it is in our national security interest to do so," per the Hill. The senator spoke on Fox News Sunday, days after Taiwan's president angered China by visiting the US and meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other lawmakers. Graham predicted that China would test the US with a blockade of Taiwan as early as this year, per Politico, comparing President Xi Jinping with Vladimir Putin as an aggressor.

“I would up our game,” Graham said. “If you don’t up your game now, you are going to have a war.” Among his specific suggestions on that front: “I would increase training and get the F-16s they need in Taiwan," he said. "I would move war forces to South Korea and Japan. I would put nuclear-tipped cruise missiles on all of our submarines all over the world." All of which has French President Emanuel Macron advising Europe to stay out of this looming fight.

“The paradox would be that, overcome with panic, we believe we are just America’s followers,” Macron told Politico. “The question Europeans need to answer … is it in our interest to accelerate [a crisis] on Taiwan? No. The worse thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and take our cue from the US agenda and a Chinese overreaction." In that interview and others, Macron is pushing for what he terms "strategic autonomy" for Europe, per Deutsche Welle, which the outlet defines as "an independent foreign policy," one that is beholden to neither the US nor China. (Macron just wrapped up a visit to Beijing.)

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