French President Emmanuel Macron argued over the weekend that Europe should adopt a policy of "strategic autonomy" in response to the escalating tensions between the United States and China, warning that by allying too closely with the US, Europe could be inadvertently drawn into conflicts and crises where its interests are not significantly involved.
Macron's vision for "strategic autonomy" aims to transform Europe into a "third superpower," according to Politico.
He expressed concern that Europeans might panic and blindly follow America's lead in the ongoing geopolitical struggle between the US and China. Macron emphasized that it is not in Europe's best interest to accelerate a crisis, for example, on Taiwan and that Europeans should not become mere followers of the US agenda or react to a potential Chinese overreaction.
Interestingly, the concept of "strategic autonomy" has received widespread support in Beijing, with top Chinese Communist Party officials endorsing it and encouraging other European nations to adopt the approach.
Macron's remarks followed his recent visit to Beijing, where he spent approximately six hours with Chinese President Xi Jinping discussing the potential for peace in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Despite Macron's efforts to persuade China to pressure Russia into negotiating an end to the conflict, the visit appears to have had little impact.
During a joint press conference with Macron, Xi called for the international community to remain rational and calm, urging for the resumption of peace talks as soon as possible. He also highlighted the importance of addressing the reasonable security concerns of all sides and constructing a balanced, effective, and sustainable European security framework.
However, Macron's visit to China seemingly contradicted US efforts to "decouple" the West from China.
The US has increasingly clashed with China over unfair trade practices and territorial aggression, particularly concerning Taiwan, a crucial trading partner for the United States.
Despite maintaining an appearance of neutrality in the war, China has been strengthening its relationship with Russia, purchasing growing amounts of Russian crude oil and reportedly supplying Moscow with weapons, munitions, and drone parts.
Last month, Xi visited Moscow and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during what Beijing dubbed a "journey of peace."