“La Grande Nation” ???

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In the Washington Post, Ishaan Taroor comments on the conroversial remarks by French president Macron on Taiwan-China relations and notes,

«In Europe, analysts and commentators argued that Macron effectively played into China’s hands and allowed himself to become a wedge between the United States and Europe. It also reinforced the divisions within the continent on how to approach major illiberal powers like China.»

This would of course not be the first time that France has been a wedge like this. From 1966 through the 1980s the country’s participation in NATO was very reluctant, and as I recall, both during the Balkan wars after the break-up of Yugoslavia and after the invasion of Crimea, France seemed reluctant to condemn the aggressor (Serbia in the former case, Russia in the latter).

I guess calling yourself “la grande nation” engenders similar attitudes in France as “American Exceptionalism” does in part of the US political establishment: the notion that you can forge ahead without due regard for allies or friends, or even for international law.

Or else Emmanuel Macron was just trying to divert attention from his increasingly severe troubles at home.

But seriously: standing against aggression should not be viewed as a matter of siding or not with America; it is an issue of political morals and ethics, and Macron does not enhance France’s standing and reputation by forgetting that.

Picture of Emmanuel Macron borrowed from the South China Morning Post.

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