Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

Germany foreign minister embarks on post-Macron ‘damage control’ in China trip

Germany foreign minister embarks on post-Macron ‘damage control’ in China trip

Germany’s foreign minister begins a visit to China on Thursday aiming to reassert a common European Union policy toward Beijing days after remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron suggested disarray in the continent’s approach to the rising superpower.
Macron provoked a backlash in the United States and Europe when he called on the European Union to reduce dependence on the US and cautioned against being drawn into a crisis over Taiwan driven by an “American rhythm and a Chinese overreaction.”

Many European politicians, diplomats and analysts saw Macron’s comments in an interview with Politico and French daily Les Echos as a gift to what they called Beijing’s goal of dismantling transatlantic unity.

As a result, the stakes of the inaugural trip by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock have risen, with many EU members hoping Berlin will use this opportunity to set out a clear and united EU line on China, analysts said.

Macron was widely seen as taking a weak line on Taiwan by warning Europe should not get “caught up in crises that are not ours” – although his office insisted this was not his intended meaning and his position on Taiwan and China had not changed.

“Now it is about damage control to a large degree ... But the cloud of Macron’s visit is very big and still it’s very unclear how this balance will play out in the end,” Alicja Bachulska, a China-EU relations researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations in Warsaw, told Reuters.

Even without Macron’s remarks the trip would have been delicate for Baerbock, who has been more hawkish on China than Chancellor Olaf Scholz and is drafting a China policy aimed at reducing Germany’s economic dependence on Beijing.

“She was sort of perceived as being a troublemaker. I’d be surprised if this does not play a role at all in her visit,” Tim Ruehlig, China expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations, told Reuters.

Baerbock must now make Germany’s position on Taiwan clear during her visit, German foreign policy parliamentarian Nils Schmid told Reuters, adding Macron’s remarks had destroyed a hoped-for impetus for a common European China policy.

The foreign minister is due to meet her counterpart Qin Gang and China’s top diplomat Wang Yi on the two-day trip.

Speaking ahead of her visit, Baerbock said the top of her agenda would be reminding China of its responsibility to influence Russia to end its invasion of Ukraine and underlining a common European conviction that a unilateral change in the status quo in the Taiwan Strait would be unacceptable.

Europe’s view of China as partner, competitor and systemic rival is the compass of its policy, she added.

“It is clear to me that we have no interest in economic decoupling ... but we must take a more systematic look at the risks of one-sided dependencies and reduce them,” Baerbock said.

Some EU capitals — particularly those in Central and Eastern Europe, which cherish their ties with the US — will be hoping Baerbock’s stance is closer to the one expressed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who visited Beijing at the same time as Macron.

Many analysts drew a contrast between Macron’s remarks and those from von der Leyen that were widely seen as more critical of Beijing. Just days before the visit she said Europe must “de-risk” diplomatically and economically with a hardening China.

“More von der Leyen than Macron should be her guideline,” conservative foreign policy lawmaker Johann Wadephul, who will join Baerbock on her trip, told Reuters.
Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
French farmers are not messing around.
The Dutch farmers have now BLOCKED the border crossing.
"STOP LYING"
Is Germany again the 'sick man of Europe'?
When dead children are just the price of doing business, Zuckerberg’s apology is empty
Employment and AI: A Double-Edged Sword
Thousands of Germans Protest Against Far-Right Party
×