French President Emmanuel Macron is taking Ursula von der Leyen with him on his trip to China next week. Von der Leyen is president of the European Commission and, until now, one of the European Union’s (EU) staunchest supporters of Ukraine. The two are scheduled to arrive in Beijing on April 4. While Macron’s visit had been announced some time ago, von der Leyen’s recent decision to join gives the trip a pan-European stamp of approval. But for what?
To Americans, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Moscow was further confirmation that Beijing sides with “Putin’s war machine,” as von der Leyen has called it. In Europe, views are divided. Specifically, there are growing concerns in east Europe about west Europe.
Macron, who once said he was worried about Putin being humiliated, is a red flag. Central and Eastern Europe (by and large) want de-risking and perhaps eventual de-coupling from China. They want nothing to do with Chinese-brokered peace deals for Ukraine.
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