Rubio Responds to Macron’s Call to ‘Break Away’ From US After China Meeting

Rubio Responds to Macron’s Call to ‘Break Away’ From US After China Meeting
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) talks during a joint news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, on March 10, 2023. (Kin Cheung/Pool/Getty Images); Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) (R) speaks to supporters during an election-night party in Miami, Fla.,on Nov. 8, 2022. (Saul Martinez/Getty Images)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has condemned French President Emanuel Macron for appearing to advocate that Europe should distance itself from the United States over a possible Chinese military aggression against Taiwan.

In a roughly two-minute video posted on Twitter Sunday, Rubio asked whether Macron “speaks for all of Europe” when he suggested that the EU should not pick sides between the United States and China over Taiwan, further arguing European nations should “break away” from the United States and avoid getting involved in crises “that are not ours” to build Europe’s “strategic autonomy” concept.

While returning from a three-day state visit to China after meeting with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping, Macron told Politico during an interview that the EU needs to reduce its U.S. reliance and avoid becoming “America’s followers.”

NTD Photo
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (R) visited the garden of the residence of the Governor of Guangdong on April 7, 2023. (Jacques WittI/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Responding to Macron’s interview, Rubio said that Europe—particularly France—has relied heavily on the United States for decades for their defense.

“This is a good moment for us to ask Europe: Does Macron speak for all of Europe, is Macron now the head of Europe, is he now the most powerful leader in Europe?” Rubio questioned, then noting if that were the case, “There are some things that have to change.”

“In fact, when Macron tried to play global superpower and sent troops to North Africa to fight terrorists, he couldn’t even get his own troops there,” he added. “We had to fly them there, and we had to fly them back; he couldn’t even get his own troops there.”

“So, if they’re gonna break off on their own and follow Macron’s lead, that’s going to save us a lot of money,” the Florida lawmaker continued.

Rubio also addressed the United States military assistance to Ukraine, saying Americans have spent “a lot of our taxpayer money” on the European conflict. He also stressed that he supports the cause because he believes “it’s in the national interests of the United States to be allies to our allies.”

“But, if our allies’ position—if, in fact, Macron speaks for all of Europe, and their position now is they’re not gonna pick sides between the U.S. and China over Taiwan—maybe we shouldn’t be picking sides either. Maybe we should basically say we’re gonna focus on Taiwan and the threats China poses, and you guys handle Ukraine and Europe,” Rubio said.

“So, we need to find out, does Macron speak for Macron, or does Macron speak for Europe?” he added. “And we need to get the answer to that pretty quickly because China is very excited about what he said.”


Macron’s comments on Taiwan were quickly denounced by many other notable persons, including the senior policy advisor of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission.

Posting a meme on Twitter, Paul Massaro declared that “Macronizing” has joined “Scholzing” in the “lexicon of shame.”

The meme defined “Macronizing” as “Deliberately increasing one’s dependency on China whilst lecturing European partners about naivety and the need to boost the EU’s strategic autonomy.”

However, it is unlikely that all European officials share Macron’s view. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who accompanied the French president during his visit, said during a meeting in Beijing last week that stability in the Taiwan Strait “is of paramount importance.”

“The threat [of] the use of force to change the status quo is unacceptable,” von der Leyen said.

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.

Since U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) highlighted a strong U.S.-Taiwan bond after meeting with the island nation’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, last week, China has launched drills around the island nation in anger.

Taiwan’s military detected approximately 70 Chinese aircraft and 11 naval vessels around the island on Monday on the third day of China’s military drills, with 35 to 45 warplanes, including eight SU-30 fighters, spotted crossing the Taiwan Strait’s median line and the southwest of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) numerous times.

Concerned by Drills

The EU, meanwhile, expressed concern on Monday over China’s military drills around Taiwan, saying the island’s status should not be changed by force as any escalation, accident, or use of force there would have substantial global implications.

“We are concerned by the intensification of military activities … in the Taiwan Strait and around Taiwan, with incursions in Taiwanese Air Defence Identification Zone and crossing of the median line,” said Nabila Massrali, EU Commission spokeswoman for foreign affairs.

“The status quo should not be changed unilaterally or by force. Any instability in the Strait resulting from escalation, accident, or use of force would have huge economic and security implications for the region and globally,” she continued. “It is key to exercise restraint. Tensions should be resolved through meaningful and open dialogue. The EU and its Member States will continue supporting efforts aiming to preserve peace and stability in the region.”

China views democratically governed Taiwan as its territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control. At the same time, Taiwan’s government strongly objects to China’s claims.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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