French President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial visit to China earlier this month sparked widespread criticism on both sides of the Atlantic. Now, as the clamor dies down, two important questions remain that cannot easily be explained away: When it comes to China, who speaks for Europe? And where is European policy on China heading?
Ten years after France launched its military intervention in Mali to oust jihadist militants, its influence in West Africa’s Sahel region is waning. Against this backdrop, French President Emmanuel Macron outlined a new “framework for security cooperation” last month as part of a new approach to relations with African countries.
Observers across Europe reacted furiously to remarks French President Emmanuel Macron made last week imploring Europe not to behave like “vassals” of the U.S., amid its intensifying geopolitical competition with China. But the reaction by European capitals to Macron’s statements are more revealing than his original remarks.