As the U.S. Retreats From Defending Human Rights, Europe Responds With Deafening Silence

As the U.S. Retreats From Defending Human Rights, Europe Responds With Deafening Silence
Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and French President Emmanuel Macron review a Chinese honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, Jan. 9, 2018 (AP photo Mark Schiefelbein).

Much has been made of French President Emmanuel Macron’s flair for public diplomacy, from his handling of U.S. President Donald Trump to his efforts to take the lead in global diplomacy on climate change. The latest illustration is his visit this week to China, where he lived up to expectations: In a French version of China’s celebrated “panda diplomacy,” Macron offered Chinese President Xi Jinping a prized horse from France’s Republican Guard as a gift.

In his speech in Xian upon his arrival, Macron offered China shared leadership on climate change diplomacy and requested Beijing’s help in efforts to stabilize West Africa and the Sahel. He also reminded his hosts of the need for trade reciprocity, underscoring the potential of a partnership between China and the European Union, so long as it was based on a balanced relationship.

“Europe is back,” he boldly declared.

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