French president Emmanuel Macron’s recent comments in Beijing that European countries should avoid “just being America’s followers” and “getting caught up in crises that are not ours” have attracted condemnation from the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (an international alliance of China hawks including Marco Rubio and Iain Duncan Smith), which accuses Macron of “appeasing” Beijing and failing to stand up for democracy.
Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez responded to IPAC’s vitriol in a brief interview with the Morning Star, pointing out that Macron’s comments are essentially a reiteration of the Gaullism that has oriented French foreign policy since the late 1950s. That France should pursue an independent foreign policy based on its own interests, rather than acting as a proxy of the US, is obviously reasonable. Instead of issuing hysterical condemnation of Macron, British politicians would be well advised to follow the example of seeking strategic autonomy and establishing a sensible distance from the US’s reckless New Cold War.
BRITAIN would be well advised to follow [French President Emmanuel] Macron’s example in staying out of a US confrontation with Beijing, a China expert says.
Mr Macron told reporters following a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping that European countries should avoid “just being America’s followers” and “getting caught up in crises that are not ours.”
He singled out rising tensions over Taiwan, asking: “Is it in our interests to accelerate [a crisis] on Taiwan? No. The worst thing would be to … take our cue from the US agenda and a Chinese overreaction.”
Thirteen British MPs signed an attack on Mr Macron drafted by the Inter-parliamentary Alliance on China, an international assemblage of legislators. It condemns “Beijing’s aggressive stance towards Taiwan” and voices dismay at the French president for “appeasing” China.
But author Carlos Martinez told the Morning Star: “That France should pursue an independent foreign policy, rather than acting as a proxy of the US, is obviously reasonable.
“On this question, Britain would be well advised to follow Macron’s example, although the current political configuration makes that difficult. The hard right in the Conservative Party is pushing for deeper alignment with (or subservience to) the US ruling class, and it’s found an unlikely bedfellow in the Labour leadership.
“It is crucial that Britain stop outsourcing its foreign policy to Washington. British people have much to gain from friendly relations, trade, co-operation and people-to-people exchanges with China.
“Such relations must of course be based on mutual respect, which means we should respect China’s sovereignty and accept that the Taiwan issue can only be solved by the Chinese people on both sides of the strait.”