Just as this noble publication feared, it’s not been a great few days for Franco-Everyone Else ties.

Already getting his goose liver mashed at home (those street protests have only spread since he took off) the French President Emmanuel Macron is now being excoriated abroad for what has been criticised as ranging naïveté.

In the words of the New York Times:

“…first with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, whom he failed to dissuade from war after an intense courtship, and now with China’s President, Xi Jinping, who wants to drive a wedge between Europe and the United States and has warned of American ‘containment.'”

Screenshot New York Times


Macron’s also been happily slammed for an interview with US publication Politico in which he said that Europe should not get dragged into any confrontation around Taiwan.

Screenshot via Politico

Unsurprisingly Macron is getting painted like a goose.

Although there’s an argument here that these US media responses were already baked in.

As were comments by groups like:

If you read French like Stockhead you can check out a Q&A with Macron and some more extensive reporting by Les Echos here.

Emmanuel Macron : « L’autonomie stratégique doit être le combat de l’Europe »

Sans autonomie stratégique, l’Europe risque de « sortir de l’histoire », prévient le président de la République dans un entretien réalisé lors de sa visite d’Etat en Chine.

(Without strategic autonomy, Europe risks “going out of history”, warns the President of the Republic.)


Les Echos: The Chinese being obsessed with their confrontation with the United States, in particular on the question of Taiwan, don’t they tend to see Europe as a pawn between the two blocs?

Pres. Macron: As Europeans, our concern is our unity. It’s been mine forever. We are showing China that we are united and that is the meaning of this joint visit with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The Chinese are also concerned about their unity and Taiwan, from their point of view, is a component of this. It is important to understand how they reason.

The question posed to us Europeans is the following: do we have an interest in speeding up the subject of Taiwan? No. The worst thing would be to think that we Europeans should follow suit on this subject and adapt to the American rhythm and a Chinese overreaction. Why should we go at the pace chosen by others? At some point, we must ask ourselves the question of our interest. What is the pace at which China itself wants to go? Does she want to have an offensive and aggressive approach? The risk is that of a self-fulfilling strategy of number one and number two on this subject. We Europeans need to wake up. Our priority is not to adapt to the agenda of others in all regions of the world.

The trap for Europe would be that when it achieves a clarification of its strategic position, where it is more strategically autonomous than before the Covid, it is caught in a disruption of the world and crises which would not be the ours. If there is an acceleration of the conflagration of the duopoly, we will not have the time nor the means to finance our strategic autonomy and will become vassals whereas we can be the third pole if we have a few years to build it.


No one cares about Huawei. That train will stay in the station. But lots of people are upset (some delighted) with Macron’s submissive body language:

…and his endorsement of the Chinese government in a video released by his own presidential Twitter account and directed by Michael Bay…

Just hours after Macron left, China courteously kicked off three days of huge military exercises in and around Taiwan.