Metaverse News: A Read into President Macron’s Comments in China – Is Europe Decoupling from the USA?
French President Emmanuel Macron visited Beijing, China from 5 to 8 April 2023, during this state visit President Macron Said “Europe must reduce its dependency on the United States. The Great Risk Europe faces is that it gets caught up in crises that are not ours and this prevents it from building its strategic Autonomy”
It is no secret that within European elite their is a great disdain stemming from what their counterparts pin down to jealousy and envy over the fact that USA exerts power over the Technology in Europe and that has come at the cost of tethering European Tech Sector due to over reliance and open access to their single market to their american Tech counterparts.
This is evident from the position of the EU that seeks to rein in US Big Tech specially MAANG companies – Meta (Facebook), Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (Alphabet). This has been widely criticised from their american counterparts and has for the longest time remained a bone of contention between USA and Europe.
The world is divided in to two camps – one that sees this as Taiwan and the other that view this as Chinese Taipei.
If President Macron’s words from his China trip are any indication – they clearly state his position being that he believes to want to support the Chinese Taipei Narrative instead of the Taiwan Narrative.
This is clearly a bi-partisan position from USA speakers both Nancy Pelosi as well as Kevin McCarthy, Pelosi visited Taiwan/Chinese Taipei while McCarthy met the Leader of Taiwan/Chinese Taipei Tsai Ing-Wen in Simi Valley, California during the same time that Macron was visiting China.
Many leaders in the EU, such as Lithuania are deepening ties with Taiwan, the jury is out on in wake of President Macron’s comments on whether the EU supports Taiwan, whether they oppose Taiwan, or whether the EU is divided on how to proceed.
Whether you believe in Taiwan or the Chinese Taipei – this is a bone of contention that will shape Geo Politics in the next decade and beyond.
Most countries outside the United States, have long criticised the working of the US Federal Reserve in the wake of Bretton Woods. The criticism inculde that United states exports their inflation to other countries. Since, US’s debt is denominated in their own currency (the US Dollar) while other nation’s debts are denominated in US Dollar.
Therefore, every time United States undertakes Quantitative Easing it faces waves of criticism stemming from various areas but primarily coming from the Petrodollar phenomenon.
In recent months, the Petrodollar in wake of the Russia-Ukraine War has been overtly and covertly been subverted by BRICS+ Nations who are using non-US Dollars for settlement of energy trade, China-Saudi China-Russia and others are using the Chinese Yuan to settle trade, Russian-India, Sri Lanka-India is using Indian Ruppees to settle trade. India’s foreign policy from April 1, will promote trade settlement in Indian Rupees from 1st April 2023 onwards. As a fragmented bilateral trade is fast happening in non-US Dollar transactions led by the Global South. Europe is growing wary of its economic overdependence on the US Dollar led international trade settlement.
According to SWIFT Business Intelligence, in April, Europe was second only to Hong Kong in cross-border yuan transactions. Overall, Europe clears around 10% of the world’s yuan-denominated payments and there is every reason to think that Europe’s market share will continue to rise.
Will Europe ditch US Dollars for Chinese Yuan in trade settlement and clearing remains to be seen but if these reports are to be believed it seems good news for Yuan and not so good news for US Dollars.
BRICS buying Gold and dumping US Dollars:
BRICS countries especially Russia, India, and China are buying Gold Covertly and overtly at a very fast pace. This could signal many implications and if economic and political pundits are to be believed this is signaling the end of the US Dollar Hegemony and the beginning of a Global Reserve Currency(ies) which may be backed by a mix of Gold and Commodities.
US Intelligence Leaks:
A series of documents, purporting to contain highly classified Pentagon intelligence related to the Ukraine war and information gathering on close US allies, have emerged online in recent weeks.
As United States media has increasingly reported on the apparent leak, officials have walked a careful line in their response, with Pentagon spokesman Chris Meagher saying that the circulating photos “appear to show documents similar in format” to those provided to senior military leaders, but stressing that defence department staff were still assessing their authenticity.
On Monday, Meagher said the documents could pose “a very serious risk to national security”.
While further details have continued to emerge, it is clear the situation has sent shock waves through the US administration, as it seeks to contain and assess the scope of any data breach, while roiling allies.
A series of leaked reports purporting to be classified US intelligence documents linked to the war in Ukraine has drawn scepticism and denials from US spy agencies and several United States allies.
Photos of the classified files began circulating widely on Russian social media channels last week, but some were published on Discord in February and March.
The CIA, NSA, and US Defense Intelligence Agency have denied the authenticity of the reports and have launched an investigation into the source of the leak. The reports have also caused embarrassment for Egypt
Egypt denied a Washington Post report citing a leaked document dated February 17 that said it had reached a secret agreement to supply Russia with 40,000 rockets, gunpowder, and artillery shells.
“In the document, Sisi instructs the officials to keep the production and shipment of the rockets secret ‘to avoid problems with the West’”, the Washington Post reported, referring to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
A senior official told Al Qahera News the report was “informational tampering that has no basis in truth”.
More worryingly for the Western alliance backing Ukraine, some of the leaked documents suggest Kyiv is not set for a sweeping victory in its anticipated spring counteroffensive, and its air defences are vulnerable.
A purported US intelligence assessment from early February warned of “force generation and sustainment shortfalls,” and the likelihood of only “modest territorial gains”.
Ukraine has formed several new so-called storm brigades ahead of the counteroffensive and was advertising the formation of a seventh National Guard brigade, which would be the ninth “Offensive Guard” in the armed forces. A brigade typically consists of about 4,000 troops, suggesting that Ukraine had 32,000 offensive troops in reserve and was trying to raise that number closer to 40,000 ahead of the counteroffensive.
“Currently, we see a great demand and desire to join,” said Ukraine’s Interior Affairs Deputy Minister Kateryna Pavlichenko.
Following a telephone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted on April 11, “@SecBlinken reaffirmed the ironclad US support and vehemently rejected any attempts to cast doubt on Ukraine’s capacity to win on the battlefield.”
A New York Times report quoted a leaked document predicting that ammunition for Ukraine’s Soviet-era air defence systems would soon be depleted, exposing the interior of the country to aerial attack.
“Stocks of missiles for Soviet-era S-300 and Buk air defense systems, which make up 89 percent of Ukraine’s protection against most fighter aircraft and some bombers, were projected to be fully depleted by May 3 and mid-April,” the newspaper said.
Ukraine says it is currently able to shoot down 75 percent of the missiles Russia sends, and is trying to convince its allies to send F-16s to bolster its air defences.
One of the documents claimed that Ukraine had suffered between 124,000 and 131,000 dead and wounded, five times higher than its official death toll.
According to Reuters, The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) used a partnership with Denmark’s foreign intelligence unit to spy on senior officials of neighbouring countries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Danish state broadcaster DR said.
The findings are the result of a 2015 internal investigation in the Danish Defence Intelligence Service into NSA’s role in the partnership, DR said, citing nine unnamed sources with access to the investigation.
According to the investigation, which covered the period from 2012 to 2014, the NSA used Danish information cables to spy on senior officials in Sweden, Norway, France and Germany, including former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and former German opposition leader Peer Steinbrück.
Asked for comment on the DR report, a spokesperson for the German chancellery said it only became aware of the allegations when asked about them by journalists, and declined to comment further.
Danish Defence Minister Trine Bramsen declined to comment on “speculation” about intelligence matters in the media.
“I can more generally say that this government has the same attitude as the former Prime Minister expressed in 2013 and 2014 – systematic wiretapping of close allies is unacceptable,” Bramsen told Reuters in a statement.
In Washington, the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) declined to comment. A spokesperson for the Danish Defence Intelligence Service also declined to comment.
Denmark, a close ally of the United States, hosts several key landing stations for subsea internet cables to and from Sweden, Norway, Germany, Holland and Britain.
Through targeted retrievals and the use of NSA-developed analysis software known as Xkeyscore, NSA intercepted both calls, texts and chat messages to and from telephones of officials in the neighbouring countries, sources told DR.
The internal investigation in the Danish Defence Intelligence Service was launched in 2014 following concerns about former NSA employee Edward Snowden’s leaks the previous year revealing how the NSA works, according to DR.
Snowden fled the United States after leaking secret NSA files in 2013 and was given asylum in Russia.
Following DR’s report, Snowden posted a cryptic Danish-language comment on Twitter saying: “If only there had been some reason to investigate many years ago. Oh why didn’t anyone warn us?”
Steinbrück told German broadcaster ARD he thought it was “grotesque that friendly intelligence services are indeed intercepting and spying on top representatives” of other countries.
“Politically I consider it a scandal,” he said.
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish SVT broadcaster that he “demanded full information”.Norwegian Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told broadcaster NRK that he took the allegations seriously.
In Paris, French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune told France Info radio that the DR report needed to be checked and that, if confirmed, it would be a “serious” matter.
“These potential facts, they are serious, they must be checked,” he said, adding there could be “some diplomatic protests”.
A decision in August last year to suspend the head of the Danish Defence Intelligence Service and three other officials following criticism and accusations of serious wrongdoings from an independent board overseeing the agencycentred on the 2015 investigation, according to DR.
Denmark said last year it would initiate an investigation into the case based on information from a whistleblower report. That investigation is expected to be concluded later this year.
US Senator Marco Rubio:
According to Mehrnews, they quoted American website Politico, in response to Macron’s comments, Rubio dropped a video in which he says, “If our allies’ position is, in fact, Macron speaks for all of Europe, and their position now is they are not going to pick sides between the UٍS and China over Taiwan, maybe we shouldn’t be picking sides either. Maybe we should basically say we’re going to focus on Taiwan and the threats that China poses, and you guys handle Ukraine.”
The question then arises that if in 2024, the US Election in infact won by the Republican party of which Marco Rubio is a part does that mean USA will end all support for Ukraine and now focus on Taiwan?
Do let us know what your take on this matter is and do you think Europe will decouple with USA as political Pundits are touting this theory.
You be the arbiter of the truth – our readers of The Metaverse Street Journal!