China, friend or enemy of the EU?

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BEIJING – At the beginning of the EU-China summit, European negotiators threatened to abandon the discussion of the agenda if China did not specify when it will implement the necessary reforms in its market and sets the timetable for its implementation.

This conduct indicates that there are political circles in Europe that “thirst for Chinese blood,” says Russian journalist Dmitri Kósirev.

In their negotiations with China, the EU representatives showed signs of being emboldened by the behavior of US President Donald Trump and his team who had previously pressured China to achieve the best commercial conditions [in the future agreement between the two countries], reports the Chinese newspaper South China Morning Post.

A divided alliance

In turn, the Russian journalist Dmitri Kósirev highlights in his article that the EU-China summit held in Brussels showed that the West does not have a common position when defining China as a friendly or enemy country. The author recalls that despite the political differences, European citizens respectfully treat Chinese tourists by calling them “pandas” affectionately.

“It seems that the dragon as a symbol of the Chinese Empire gave its leadership to the panda (…) It is clear that within the EU there is a Baltic group that treats the ‘Chinese panda’ as the ‘Russian bear’,” stressed Kósirev.

However, the journalist recalls that there is another group of Central and Eastern European States that treat the ‘Chinese panda’ well. There are 16 countries, whose trade with China not only exceeded 82,000 million dollars, but also grew 21% in 2018.

“Now, Italy and Greece became part of this group of so-called friends of the ‘Chinese panda’,” the journalist said, referring to Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Italy where the Chinese president signed 29 agreements, including accession of the Alpine country to the One Road and One Belt Initiative promoted by China.

In addition, the journalist considers it important to take into account that the US and China are the most important partners for the EU and for 15 years the EU has been the most important partner for China.

There are European circles that thirst for blood

Kósirev recalls that the EU-China summits were once viewed as seeking to familiarize China with the European system of norms and values.

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“That is to say, at these summits, Europeans read sermons about human rights and good political order, while their interlocutors eagerly approached advanced Western technologies in exchange for their correct behavior,” he recalled.

According to the author, the main fight at the recent summit took place around questions such as: when Beijing will implement the reforms it promises to apply for some time and will cease to subsidize several industries of its economy, creating, according to the West, premises for an honest competition.

The hardness that the EU showed at the summit with China can be explained by Washington’s attack on Beijing.

Kósirev recalls that the negotiations between China and the US on the trade war have entered the final stage as the parties are supposedly about to sign “a tough deal for the Asian giant.”

“And now, feeling the smell of Chinese blood, the Europeans began to put pressure on their ‘intransigent’ Asian partner,” he writes.

Is it a simple hypocrisy?

The Russian journalist believes that the ideology of those political circles consider Beijing not only became its main economic partner but also began to dominate them in the political sphere and divided the European alliance into parts. This is the reason why in March heads of EU states discussed the new strategic document prepared by the European Commission that describes China as “a systematic rival that promotes models of alternative government”.

The leaders of the Old Continent agree that their current competition with China requires a review of their political instruments and they finally came to understand that the period of the so-called “asymmetric opening” with China is over, writes journalist Andrew Small in his article for Foreign Affairs magazine.

At the same time Kósirev thinks that the document of the European Commission, as well as the declarations of the French president were presented with a single objective: to make the United States happy.

“Then why on the eve of the summit did Macron signed economic agreements with China for an amount of 20,000 million dollars? As a result we can appreciate a typical hypocrisy of Europeans, in fact, their survival and salvation from disasters depends on China, country with which the European countries will work together and separately, “concludes the Russian journalist.

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