Financial TimesFinancial Times

Why Europe and America will always think differently on China

By Janan Ganesh

18 Apr 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

The issue isn't just Emmanuel Macron. Europe is "never going to commit wholesale" to the U.S. line on China, argues the FT's Janan Ganesh.

In 1964, when recognising “red” China was still career-death for a US president, Charles de Gaulle did just that. He later took France out of Nato’s integrated military command. On an epic, almost Homeric tour of Latin America, he pledged to that region his solidarity against an unnamed but not hard-to-guess hegemon. If never quite equidistant between the US and the USSR, he liked to draw a spurious equivalence between their overbearing power.

Put Emmanuel Macron in some perspective, then. Yes, in word and comportment, he got too close to China during his recent visit there. He has put distance between France and the rest of Europe, between Europe and the US, between the west and Taiwan. No leader in the democratic world is more in need of an editor.

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