French President Emmanuel Macron began his three-day visit to China on Jan. 8 in Xian, a symbolic city representing the departure point of the ancient Silk Roads toward the West. In his speech on that occasion at the Daminggong Palace, he outlined his views of Franco-Chinese cooperation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which imply a definite break with the currently dominant geopolitical doctrine in the EU.
The first major crisis of the new French government led to the resignation on July 19 of the highly respected chief of the general staff Gen. Pierre de Villiers, which sent shock waves throughout the country. While the newly elected President Emmanuel Macron had convinced Gen. de Villiers to extend his tenure for one more year by promising no reduction in the defense budget, he then announced, just before the July 14th celebrations, cuts in that budget of €850 million in order to comply with the Maastricht criteria of a 3% deficit to GDP.
On May 7, centrist Emmanuel Macron was elected President of France with a huge margin of over 66% of the vote against Marine Le Pen’s less than 33%. But as former Presidential candidate Jacques Cheminade has stated repeatedly, France is headed for troubled times, because neither of the candidates proposed the fundamental changes required today.