Patrick Lawrence: Macron’s Europe

When Emmanuel Macron says that Europe should not be a United States’ vassal, he surely gives voice to a sentiment shared by a majority of Europeans, whether the U.S. likes it or not. From Patrick Lawrence at

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, 2018. (NATO)

Emmanuel Macron got poor reviews in major media, and from a few notably stupid European leaders, on his return last week from his three-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping. But are we going to content ourselves with reviews of the French president’s performance or consider the play? What do critics know, after all?

I do not see that Macron’s high-profile, photo-opportunistic travels to Beijing and southern China were entirely a waste of jet fuel. Crawling cautiously out on a shaky limb, I’ll go so far as to suggest his unusually extended talks with Xi were net-positive.

And I’m taking into account the presence of the useless Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, who tagged along to get her ticket punched: European neoconservatives can call Xi all the names they want, but an encounter with the dictatorial, authoritarian, tyrannical, horrible-horrible Chinese leader seems to count as a notch on the holsters of Sinophobes such as von der Leyen.

Whatever else he is, Macron is neither a Sinophobe or a Russophobe. At times he betrays a touch of Gaullist Amerophobia, indeed. 

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