Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has expressed his disapproval of French President Emanuel Macron’s recent comments regarding a potential Chinese military aggression against Taiwan.
In a video shared on Twitter on Sunday, Rubio questioned whether Macron’s views were representative of the entire European Union, as he had suggested that Europe should remain neutral in the event of a conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan.
Additionally, Macron had advocated for European nations to distance themselves from the United States and refrain from intervening in conflicts that do not directly concern them, in order to promote Europe’s “strategic autonomy” concept.
Macron made these comments during an interview with Politico after returning from a state visit to China, during which he had met with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping.
He argued that the EU should reduce its reliance on the United States and avoid being a mere follower of America’s foreign policy. Sen. Rubio took issue with this stance and condemned Macron for suggesting that Europe should break away from its alliance with the United States in the face of potential aggression from China.
In response to Macron’s recent interview, Senator Marco Rubio pointed out that Europe, particularly France, has relied heavily on the United States for defense for many years.
Rubio then questioned whether Macron’s views represent those of all of Europe or if he has assumed the role of Europe’s leader. Rubio further suggested that if Macron were indeed Europe’s most powerful leader, then certain changes would need to be made.
Rubio also criticized Macron’s attempt to play a global superpower by sending troops to North Africa to fight terrorism, noting that Macron was unable to transport his own troops and had to rely on the United States to provide transportation.
Rubio emphasized that this highlights Europe’s dependence on the United States, despite Macron’s call for strategic autonomy.
Senator Rubio continued his criticism of Macron’s stance on Europe’s strategic autonomy, suggesting that if Europe intends to break off from the United States and follow Macron’s lead, it would save American taxpayers a lot of money. Rubio acknowledged the United States’ significant financial contribution to the conflict in Europe, particularly in Ukraine, but emphasized that he supports the cause because it is in the national interests of the United States to support its allies.
However, Rubio also argued that if Europe is not willing to pick sides between the United States and China over Taiwan, then perhaps the United States should focus on the threat China poses to Taiwan while Europe handles the conflict in Ukraine.
Rubio urged the need to clarify whether Macron’s views represent those of France alone or all of Europe. He emphasized that this clarification is necessary because China is closely following Macron’s comments on Taiwan.
Macron’s stance on Taiwan received widespread criticism, with many notable figures denouncing his position. Paul Massaro, the senior policy advisor of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, referred to Macron’s stance as “Macronizing,” which he defined as “Deliberately increasing one’s dependency on China whilst lecturing European partners about naivety and the need to boost the EU’s strategic autonomy.”
It is improbable that all officials in Europe hold the same opinion as Macron. During Macron’s visit to Beijing, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the importance of stability in the Taiwan Strait, stating that the use of force to alter the status quo is unacceptable.
Macron, however, seemed to hold a different view, as he suggested that Europe cannot resolve the crisis in Ukraine and should avoid escalating tensions in Taiwan by making empty threats.
Recent developments have further escalated the already-tense situation. After U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reaffirmed the strong bond between the U.S. and Taiwan during his meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, China responded with anger by conducting military drills around the island.
On Monday, Taiwan’s military detected approximately 70 Chinese aircraft and 11 naval vessels near the island, with 35 to 45 warplanes crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait and flying numerous times over the southwest of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), including eight SU-30 fighters.
‘Concerned By Drills’
The European Union (EU) has expressed its concern regarding China’s military drills around Taiwan on Monday, emphasizing that any change in the island’s status through the use of force could have significant global implications.
Nabila Massrali, EU Commission spokeswoman for foreign affairs, stated that the EU was alarmed by the intensification of military activities in the Taiwan Strait and around Taiwan, including incursions in Taiwanese Air Defense Identification Zone and crossing of the median line.
Massrali emphasized that any unilateral or forceful alteration of the status quo must be avoided. She added that any instability in the Strait resulting from escalation, accident, or the use of force would have significant economic and security consequences for the region and the world.
The EU called for restraint and urged all parties to resolve tensions through meaningful and open dialogue. The EU and its Member States pledged to support efforts aimed at preserving peace and stability in the region.
China continues to view Taiwan as part of its territory and has never ruled out the use of force to bring it under its control. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s government vehemently opposes China’s claims.