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EU Debates China Policy as German Chancellor Plans Beijing Visit  & More Trending News

 

EU leaders at a European Council summit in Brussels this week wrestled with how to reply to the rising financial and diplomatic energy of China, even as Chinese chief Xi Jinping signaled his intention to maintain an aggressive overseas coverage throughout a Communist Party congress in Beijing.

While largely preoccupied by the struggle in Ukraine, the leaders devoted greater than three hours of their two-day summit ending Friday to “a strategic discussion on the European Union’s relations with China,” in accordance with a tweet by the South China Morning Post’s Brussels-based correspondent.

Detailed studies of the dialogue have but to emerge, however the problem in bringing all 27 EU members to a typical place was foreshadowed at a gathering of the bloc’s overseas ministers earlier within the week in Luxembourg.

In a short assertion issued on the conclusion of that Foreign Affairs Council assembly, the ministers stated the European Council “reconfirmed the validity of the EU’s multifaceted approach on China” and described Beijing as “a partner with whom the EU must engage, a tough competitor and a systemic rival.”

EU sticking to its place

Analysts noticed little new within the assertion, which sought to bridge “a variety of approaches” by the varied member states, in accordance with Filip Sebok, a analysis fellow with the Prague-based Association for International Affairs.

“Overall, the EU is still sticking to the ‘partner, competitor, rival’ trifecta,” he stated in an emailed interview with VOA. Although there’s rising emphasis on the systemic rivalry with China, “we should not expect a departure from the basic definition of the EU policy towards China in [the] short term.”

Charles Parton, a senior fellow on the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies, stated the rapid problem posed by the struggle in Ukraine “is obscuring the bigger, longer-term threat of China to [Europe’s] security, prosperity, data and values.”

Nevertheless, Parton thinks attitudes within the EU are slowly altering.

“The query is whether or not EU nations can tolerate the ache of actions, that are required to match that change of attitudes,” he stated.

Parton, whose diplomatic profession within the British overseas service included years of advising the EU delegation in Beijing on issues pertaining to China, identified the problem of bringing so many nations collectively on a typical place.

“As ever, a central issue is whether the 27 can achieve unity of purpose and action,” he stated. “A lowest common denominator approach may not be sufficient.”

Certainly, there’s concern throughout the bloc concerning the intentions of the Chinese chief, who in an tackle to the celebration congress Sunday pledged to “resolutely safeguard the security of China’s state power, systems and ideology — and build up security capacity in key areas.”

“We will crack down hard on infiltration, sabotage, subversion and separatist activities by hostile forces,” Xi added in what was broadly interpreted as a reference to the United States and its Western allies.

The head of Germany’s home intelligence service informed the German parliament on Monday that the consensus amongst Western intelligence chiefs was that China posed the best long-term safety and total problem.

“When I speak with foreign partners about China, they always say: Russia is the storm, China is climate change. So, we’re going to have to brace for this climate change in the coming years,” Thomas Haldenwang stated.

“We must not allow a situation where the Chinese state can influence political events in Germany via critical infrastructures, where opportunities for sabotage are perhaps also opened up, where there’s also the possibility of influencing public opinions,” he warned.

FILE -- Port cranes load container ships at the import and export harbor in Hamburg, Germany, March 19, 2022.
FILE — Port cranes load container ships on the import and export harbor in Hamburg, Germany, March 19, 2022.

Hamburg port

His warning got here amid stress in Berlin over whether or not China needs to be allowed to buy important stakes in a port in Hamburg, considered one of Europe’s most vital hubs.

German media have reported that Haldenwang’s intelligence service is considered one of six authorities companies that oppose the plan. However, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, a former mayor of Hamburg, is claimed to assist the Chinese funding.

Scholz confirmed on the sidelines of the Brussels summit that he would lead a delegation together with enterprise executives to go to China within the coming weeks.

Estonia’s prime minister, Kaja Kallas, expressed her reservation when questioned about Scholz’s journey plans, telling reporters Friday that she favored a complete EU strategy and cautioning towards offers that would threaten the unity of the bloc.

EU Debates China Policy as German Chancellor Plans Beijing Visit 

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EU Debates China Policy as German Chancellor Plans Beijing Visit 

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