The world order led by the US could soon end up before the rise of China, forcing Europe to make choices, the EU officials warn.
“The analysis has long spoken to the end of the US-led system, as well as the beginnings of the Asian century. This is happening right before our eyes”, Josep Borrell, a senior representative of the European Union’s foreign Policy and security (EU) told German diplomats 25/5. Borrell thought that the Covid-19 epidemic could be a turning point that made Europe ahead of pressure to “choose the faction” increasingly large.
The EU reluctantly supported US President Donald Trump in the opposition to China. However, China’s policy with Hong Kong and this country insists on refusing to open the market making Europe increasingly changing its viewpoint on Beijing, according to experts.
Borrell’s speech seems to indicate that the EU will promote more independent and intense relations with Beijing in the coming time. “Member States should pursue their own interests and values, avoiding the tools for this person or others. We need more robust strategy with China, which requires strengthening relations with the rest of Asia, “said Borrell.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s senior Commissioner, emphasized the situation that she described as “a lack of going back” in relations with China. “In the place I grew up in Denmark, we were taught that it is not advisable to invite the guests who do not know the answer,” she said, asserting Europe needs a tough perspective and more confidence in the block.
Borrell admitted that EU was fond of some of China’s sides, but for that this is terminating. A series of high-level politicians in France and the United States have voiced criticism of China, alleging that the country is repeating Russia’s actions as it causes the entire EU to be divided through false news and advocates for the leaders.
Nobody knows how this “new reality” will affect trade relations between Europe and China. Every day EU imports of goods valued at nearly 1.1 billion from China, but economic experts believe that many commercial operations will not be resumed after the Covid-19 epidemic.
Europe is pursuing “diversification” in a wide range of sectors from supply chains to telecommunications security. Borrell was surprised to know that the supply of paracetamol for Europe comes from China. The German cabinet 20/5 adopted the regulations allowing the government to block outside EU investors to take over the medical company, to ensure uninterrupted supply in the epidemic.
France also had the same opinion as Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire said “many vulnerable companies and technologies may be collected by foreign opponents at a cheap price,” while affirming it will not let that happen. Swedish – Chinese relations are also tense and are at risk of breakage.
Andrew Small, an expert at the Council of European Foreign Relations, said that China has long sought to “hide” behind the EU’s doubt with Russia.
“They benefited from the thought of many EU people that China other Russia. These people think that while Russia has a hostile attitude to the EU, China only sought to hinder the unity of Europe in a few narrower issues involving the Chinese. They defied that while Russia used the chaotic situation to rise, China could be a reclining point in crisis. They believe that Russia only launched misinformation aimed at European citizens and brought the people who followed the drug to power, while China focused solely on building a positive image. “
China in fact used to help the European economy recover in the period 2007-2007 by acquiring debts and bankruptcy businesses after the economic crisis. Beijing also avoided backing Moscow in conflict in Ukraine and the Brexit issue.
Some European leaders have ever wanted to be tougher with China, but they hesitate to witness the actions of US President Donald Trump, fearing that if they cut relations with China, they were only the main partner, Trump.
The key change took place at the beginning of 2019, when the European Commission (EC) was increasingly angry with the fact that they were difficult to access the Central market QAnd the leader of the close-up chairman. The EC described the Chinese description as “a rival system that drives alternative governance models”.
The series of factors leading to the change of European perspective, which benefits from the perimeter initiative and the path did not become reality due to the Chinese economy. “The positive period in a romantic way has ended,” Secretary of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs commented.
“4 years ago we just talked about the economy, trade, belt initiatives and roads, increasing the investment. Now the situation will be more balanced, “President of France Emmanuel Macron for Hay, urged Europe to reach Russia as a new partner.
It is unclear how the strategy published by EC 2019 will be applied at the national level. Shortly after the announcement was made, Italy became the first European country to sign the investment memorandum for the perimeter initiative and the road. Many countries in the region also licensed Huawei Corporation to build 5G networks.
The Chinese themselves also want to prevent relations with EU deteriorating, affirming the 2020 will be the year of Europe with two major summits and many important agreement signing ceremonies. Beijing also looks forward to the Eastern European region with group 17 + 1.
Philippe Le Corre, an analyst in Europe, thought that the Covid-19 was “game-changing elements”, accelerating the translation of EU perspectives with China. “The Chinese diplomatic policy has been reworked, especially when they do not acknowledge the initial help of Europe. It seems that Beijing is uncomfortable with being foreign-powered, “he commented.
Borrell called China’s “generous policy” as “the performance”, while the European External Relations Agency (EEAS) accused Beijing of implementing a false news campaign to “avoid being blamed for the epidemic and improving the image with the international”.
Chinese actions in Covid-19 also change the European public’s perspective. The survey of the Korber-Stiftung organization found that 71% of the Germans believed that “damage from the epidemic could be limited if China was more transparent”. Polls in France last month 4 showed that only 12% of people said that China is the best place to deal challenges over the next 10 years.
The only exception is Italy, a country that has long been sympathetic to China.
The question for European politicians is how to take advantage of the opportunity to increase independence from Beijing but not to be dragged into the American-Chinese opposition. The first step is to build a list of Chinese-dependent sectors, the evaluation process is taking place in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Minister Le Maire promises to “strengthen sovereignty in strategic value chains” such as automobile, space and pharmaceutical industries.
The next step will depend on China’s direction of travel. Many of the former officials warned Beijing’s strategic objectives could be intimidated if the country turned the EU into the buffer in competition with Washington.
Long Yongtu, who participated in negotiations for China to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, said that Beijing is at risk of self-separation from the new global economic order. “China is a key ingredient in globalization. We must be wary when someone mentions reversing this process, “he said.
However, in the context that Trump sought to gather the G7 group and European powers to cope with China, it seemed that Beijing was too delayed to change the European mindset.
Vu Anh (According to Guardian)