Amid reports that some countries are “de-dollarizing,” French President Emanuel Macron suggested in a new interview that Europe should reduce its dependency on the United States.
There is a “great risk” that Europe “gets caught up in crises that are not ours, which prevents it from building its strategic autonomy,” he told Politico this weekend as he flew on an airplane from Beijing to Guangzhou in China after meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Xi and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have backed Macron’s “strategic autonomy” concept as CCP officials often refer to it when meeting with other European officials.
“The paradox would be that, overcome with panic, we believe we are just America’s followers,” Macron said in the interview. “The question Europeans need to answer … is it in our interest to accelerate [a crisis] on Taiwan? No. The worse thing would be to think that we Europeans must become followers on this topic and take our cue from the U.S. agenda and a Chinese overreaction,” he said.
Europe must better fund its defense industry, develop nuclear and renewable energy and reduce dependence on the U.S. dollar to limit its reliance on the United States, Macron also said. Macron traveled to China with a 50-strong business delegation including Airbus and nuclear energy producer EDF, which signed deals during the visit.
But other European officials may not necessarily share Macron’s view. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen accompanied the French president during his visit.
“Stability in the Taiwan Strait is of paramount importance,” she said she told Xi during the meeting in Beijing last week. “The threat [of] the use of force to change the status quo is unacceptable.”
Macron, according to Politico, appeared to disagree. “Europeans cannot resolve the crisis in Ukraine; how can we credibly say on Taiwan, ‘watch out, if you do something wrong we will be there’? If you really want to increase tensions that’s the way to do it,” he told the outlet.
While in Taiwan, meanwhile, McCarthy called for “one voice” against CCP aggression and said he wants faster weapons delivery to the island nation. “Don’t send a balloon over our air space. Don’t use authoritarian bully tactics,” he warned the regime. “It won’t go far.”
“President Reagan’s Six Assurances serve as the backbone of our relationship with the people of Taiwan. The members here today make clear we take our support for the people of Taiwan seriously and are determined to speak with one voice,” McCarthy also said.
Macron also suggested that European nations should reduce their dependence on the “extraterritoriality of the U.S. dollar,” which Beijing and Moscow both strongly support. “If the tensions between the two superpowers heat up … we won’t have the time nor the resources to finance our strategic autonomy and we will become vassals,” he said.
There has been speculation that recent actions by China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Iran, and even France could spell doom for the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, a position that it has held since after the end of World War II. Saudi Arabia is also reportedly in active talks with Beijing to price some of its Chinese oil sales in yuan rather than the dollar.
In a statement from Brazil’s government last month, Brazil and China agreed to trade in their own currencies and won’t use the dollar as an intermediary. Instead, they’ll exchange the Chinese yuan with Brazilian reais rather than convert it to the dollar.
That deal came right after the Chinese regime settled its first purchase of liquefied natural gas via the yuan, according to Reuters. That transaction contained approximately 65,000 tons of LNG and was sourced from the United Arab Emirates after the China National Offshore Oil Corp. negotiated a shipment with France’s TotalEnergies through the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange.
Reuters contributed to this report.