“Taiwan is indeed a European problem”
Europe must set its own course towards China, and not follow the United States, as French President Macron said. This is what Han ten Brücke, former deputy of the VVD department and director of political affairs at The Hague Center for Strategic Studies, says in his book De Wereld of BNR. “We are wrong about how willing the Americans are to point the finger at the allies.”
Also read | The European Parliament discusses tense relations with China
According to Ten Broeke, we are naïve in the extent to which we think we can come to terms with American interests. They are now fierce in their opposition to China. They are on a collision course and we can’t afford that. Tin Brockie advocates for a European alternative, but is still critical of Macron.
Macron returned from Beijing with a delegation from the French business community and all kinds of lucrative contracts for Airbus, and then claimed on behalf of Europe that Europe had nothing to do with Taiwan. In this situation, Ten Broek understands the Americans who say that Europe itself must take responsibility for Ukraine. “Taiwan is really our problem, contrary to what Macron says.” Ten Broeke points out that if Taiwan were indeed blocked by China, Europe would suffer greatly because then crucial trade chains would come to a halt.
According to Ten Broeke, there is no simple answer to the question of how Europe can best position itself in the sphere of US-European-Chinese tension. However, he knows that the answer has at least two components: a military one and an economic one.
According to Ten Broeke, the economic component should come from Brussels and the first steps have already been taken there: the net-zero law and the law of critical substances. Ten Broeck argues that Europe should try to achieve this strategic autonomy with redoubled efforts. “But then we have to accept that we are going to mine our own raw materials,” because we are “completely wrong several times over the entire chain.” “We must abandon this destructive economic situation.”
In the military field, it is important for Europe to get a European leg up within NATO. Europe should also be willing to contribute to the Taiwanese sea. Macron’s statements don’t help.
Also read | VVD: Macron’s statements on Taiwan were wrong
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