Sino-European conditions are getting colder | BNR News Radio

China and Europe are not involved in a cold war, but bilateral relations are getting colder. It says several analysts and academics to the news channel Al Jazeera. Because bilateral relations are often of an economic nature, the EU has always accepted differences of opinion with its trading partner China. It now seems to be turning around, the war in Ukraine and the Chinese refusal to condemn Russia seem to be a catalyst in this.

Chinese President Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi JinpingANP / Eyevine / Li Gang

Western countries increasingly see the war in Ukraine as a serious threat to European security. The fact that China refuses to label Russia as the aggressor in the conflict, and that no verdict has been handed down from Beijing, is increasingly worrying the West. While Brussels initially hoped that Beijing would use its influence on Moscow to create peace, EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell literally said in March: ‘It must be China’, but that hope has now been completely let down.

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The rhetoric of the Cold War

Not only did China abstain from a UN vote condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Beijing condemned the Cold War mentality based on bloc confrontation, a direct mockery of NATO. During a virtual summit with EU leaders on April 1, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian even blamed the conflict in the United States. According to Zhao, Washington is “the culprit and the main instigator of the Ukraine crisis.”

Chinese wishful thinking

According to a European-Chinese policy analyst at the Berlin Mercator Institute for China Studies, Beijing is caught up in its own wishful thinking: “Beijing is so dazzled by the desire for Europe to be ‘strategically autonomous’ from the United States that it is unable to provide security infrastructure. in Europe. ”Sarah Kirchberger, Head of the Asia-Pacific Strategy and Security at the Institute of Security Policy at the University of Kiel, blames the conflicting foreign policy under President Xi Jinping for the deteriorating conditions.

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Wuhan

According to this analyst, European views on China have become tougher, especially in the early days of the pandemic, when Beijing hoarded medical supplies while denying the seriousness of the Wuhan outbreak, Europe received defective Chinese test kits and face masks, and China refused to cooperate. for an international study of the origin of coronavirus. As Beijing goes on to emphasize how close it is to Moscow, “Europe is beginning to realize that some states are not of good will and will not abide by the rules,” Kirchberger says. “We need to reduce our vulnerability to and dependence on China.”

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‘Deaf dialogue’

Although European expectations for the recent EU-China summit were already low, European leaders were disappointed: China refused to declare that it would not provide military or economic assistance to Russia. The European disappointment was so great that EU Foreign Minister Borrell described the negotiations as ‘a dialogue between the deaf’.

During the summit, China did not want to take up the Russian invasion of Ukraine and only wanted to talk about “positive” conditions. According to an observer, “another sign that people do not understand the seriousness of the situation in Europe and want to stay out of it, despite being a permanent member of the UN Security Council.” Although the summit did not produce a joint statement, it was nevertheless presented as a successful event by Chinese state media.

“In a turbulent world, facing the Covid-19 pandemic and a sluggish recovery in the global economy, the fact that Chinese and EU leaders have had deep and honest discussions on important issues related to world peace and development, the world a positive energy boost, “said Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Deng Li afterwards.

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