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Backlash from Macron's China visit
Backlash from Macron's China visit | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Backlash from Macron's China visit

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Happy Monday. It's Ian Bremmer here and a Quick Take to kick off our week. And I want to talk a little bit about French President Emmanuel Macron, who is in the news again this week and not for demonstrations at home. Not for trying to change the pension age from 62 to 64, I mean that and the backlash has been dominating international coverage of the French president for weeks now. But this time around, it's what he's saying on the international stage.

Specifically, Macron has just completed a trip to China with Ursula von der Leyen and brought a whole bunch of business leaders with him. Nothing shocking about that. Olaf Scholz did the same a few months ago when he went to Beijing. Was talking about Xi Jinping playing more of a role on the Russia, Ukraine crisis. There, that is a bit different than what we've seen from other leaders. It was in the G-20 in Bali when Macron went off-piste and basically said, "Hey, we'd love to have Xi Jinping engaged directly in leading diplomacy, responding to the Russian invasion." The Americans were skeptical, a number of other Western leaders a little concerned that Macron had made those statements without talking to them about it but didn't really go anywhere.

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Belarus foreign minister's "sudden" death drives speculation
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Belarus foreign minister's "sudden" death drives speculation

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics.

What's really happening in Belarus?

Well, a mysterious thing happened. I mean, the foreign minister, Mr. Makei, who's been healthy and no problem whatsoever, died very, very suddenly the other day. He's been a loyal lieutenant of Lukashenko, no question about that. Also, during the sort of, the crackdown time over the last few years, but he has been under the cover, he has sort of been maneuvering. And he's been, in private conversation with me and others, very, very explicit on Moscow's imperial designs. So, there's a lot of speculation what really happened. And according to rumors, these are rumors, Mr. Lukashenko has changed all of his kitchen staff lately.

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Belarus president exploiting migrants to pressure EU on sanctions
Lukashenko’s Exploiting Migrants To Pressure EU Over Sanctions | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Belarus president exploiting migrants to pressure EU on sanctions

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

What's the nature of the migration crisis between Belarus and Poland?

Well, it's not a migration crisis, really. It's a question of the weaponization of the misery of people. Lukashenko wants to, sort of, exert pressure on Poland and on the European Union because of the sanctions that are imposed upon him for his undemocratic behavior. And that is importing miserable people from the Middle East, flying them into Minsk, probably at great expense to them, and then effectively forcing them over the border to Poland. That has to be stopped, and a number of measures are underway to do that. It's really an unacceptable way of exploiting people.

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Antony Blinken mending fences with France following AUKUS rift
Blinken Starts Mending Fences With France Following AUKUS Rift | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Antony Blinken mending fences with France following AUKUS rift

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

How is US Secretary of State Antony Blinken doing with his talks in Paris?

Well, seems to be fairly okay. He had a lengthy discussion with the Foreign Minister Le Drian and he was even received by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron. There's a lot of fence-mending to be done, but a start has been done. And that's good.

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Boris Johnson's AUKward phone call
PLACEHOLDER | PUPPET REGIME | GZERO Media

Boris Johnson's AUKward phone call

Boris Johnson is a glutton for punishment, but Emmanuel Macron won't give it to him.

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What's Macron's game plan?

Betrayal. Treason. Duplicity. These are some of the words used by the French government to describe the US' recent decision to freeze Paris out of a new security pact with the UK and Australia in the Indo-Pacific, which nixed a contract for Australia to buy French submarines.

Macron's subsequent tough stance against one of its oldest and closest allies is unusual, including his decision to briefly recall the French ambassador from Washington, the first time a French president has done so. But this headstrong strategy is also a deliberate diplomatic choice.

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The US-EU honeymoon is over
Ian Bremmer: The US-EU Honeymoon is Over | Quick Take | GZERO Media

The US-EU honeymoon is over

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. Happy Monday. Ian Bremmer here with your Quick Take. Plenty going on between the United States and its allies. You have seen the fallout from the US announcement of this new defense pact with the Australians and the United Kingdom called AUKUS. That's great, always like USMCA, we take the acronyms, and we try to find a way to make it comprehensible. And of course, the Chinese are not enormously happy about this, because it is a military plan to put more American material in their backyard. And the day after the Chinese announced formerly that they wanted to apply to the CPTPP, which is the major trade deal that the Americans initially were the architect of and then under Obama said, "No, we can't get it done." And then Trump pulled out. That's unfortunate and long-standing and not surprising. And China won't be able to get in, in all likelihood, because it's a heavy lift, even though Vietnam did make it, but state capitalism and TPP doesn't really work very well together.

But the more interesting and salient point for the headlines is that the French government was absolutely incensed. So, what's going on here? Why are the allies having such difficulty?

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