Emmanuel Macron intended his trip to China to serve as the starting point for a grand strategic reinvention.
He wanted to announce a new French and European foreign policy, to point the way to a new European Union as a ‘third superpower’ independent from and comparable to the US and China. Naturally, he implied, it would be France and Macron who would lead this new strategic force. He wanted this to be his crowning moment as a statesman par excellence.
This is not what happened. Instead, the French president’s visit drew ignominy and ire. Macron spouted Chinese propaganda about how decades of Chinese aggression is really an “overreaction” provoked by the US. He made his visit seem purely commercial and avaricious by taking a long train of businessmen, greedy for the crumbs Chinese state-backed enterprise can throw their way.
And, according to pro-democracy and anti-genocide activists, by neglecting even to mention the crushing of Hong Kong, threats to Taiwan and the genocide currently being committed against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Macron was spitting in the face of millions.
Read more in The Scotsman.