Fri Apr 8th, 2022 at 07:02:50 PM EST
Xi Jinping Meets with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany | June 28, 2019 |
China and Germany should also strengthen cooperation and make efforts to uphold multilateralism, promote international economic cooperation and improve global economic governance.
Angela Merkel said that Germany hopes to enhance communication, coordination and cooperation with China under the current circumstances. I look forward to paying another visit to China in the near future. The German side is willing to explore cooperation with the Chinese side within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, actively promote the development of EU-China relations, and strive to sign the EU-China investment agreement at an early date.
US-China trade deal won't affect European firms in China, Xi Jinping tells Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron | Jan 27, 2020 |
Europe Signals Harder Line On Beijing With Frozen EU-China Trade Deal | RFERL - May 21, 2021 |
Biden is America's most Atlanticist president since Bill Clinton.
Europe and the US will not see eye-to-eye on everything, but they should not waste this chance to strengthen their partnership.
As Joe Biden begins his first trip to Europe as US president, US officials are keen to stress that he is a "true transatlanticist" with decades of experience of European affairs, and that his visit is a signal that "America is back to work with our closest allies". But Biden's NATO and EU colleagues should not get carried away. Biden is above all an American politician, whose primary goal is to look after the interests of his voters before Congressional elections in 2022 and the 2024 presidential election - an aim encapsulated in his phrase "foreign policy for the middle class". Nor will his successors necessarily share his interest in Europe's problems.
Xi Jinping Holds Virtual Summit with French and German Leaders | July 5, 2021 |
China: European Union joins global rivalry as Junior partner of the United States. Their cause is our cause, their fate will be ours. Meeting of minds, the defeat of the European project, we are all Atlanticists now.
EU-China Summit in Separated World Views - Analysis | April 5, 2022 |
The exchange did not descend into mutual recriminations like the one between top US and Chinese officials in Alaska one year ago. But the back-and-forth between European Union leaders and their Chinese counterparts last week was as fraught as it has ever been--and points to a new phase in the relationship which will be dominated by strategic competition and rivalry. According to officials privy to the conversations between European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel on the one side, and China's President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang on the other, there was no progress on any of the issues dear to the EU--Ukraine, Lithuania, and China's sanctions against EU lawmakers.
The EU side went into the meeting with a three-pronged strategy for engaging with China on Ukraine. First, they confronted Xi and Li with the brutal realities of the war, including the Russian army's targeting of civilians. Second, they appealed to China's purported support for the principles enshrined in the United Nations charter--from territorial integrity and human rights to the peaceful resolution of disputes and respect for international law--making clear that Beijing was aligning itself with a regime that has displayed a wanton disregard for those principles.
But the EU also flexed some of the geopolitical muscle it has so often shied away from using in the past. Von der Leyen issued a thinly veiled warning to China that it was risking an exodus of foreign investment by siding with Russia. She took a not-so-subtle dig at China's struggles to stamp out Covid-19 despite draconian lockdowns, alluding to the effectiveness of Western vaccines and offering Europe's help. She and Michel also threw back at Xi a message that he had used at the last EU-China summit in June 2020.
China's president had warned at the time, months before the US election, that siding with Washington would have long-term negative consequences for Europe. At the summit last Friday, Xi was told the same in relation to Russia. "What you are not doing or saying now, your silence, the words you are not using--all that is understood as support for Russia. And this will have long-term consequences for your geopolitical standing," the EU official said, summing up the message to the Chinese side. "Von der Leyen teetered on the brink of threats," the official added.
China's leaders refused to engage on any of these messages, I was told, instead rolling out win-win platitudes about how united the EU and China are on everything from globalization and the pursuit of peace to multilateralism.
AUKUS Talks Started By Mike Pompeo
Posted in my diary - Will the EU-27 Survive the Biden Years? | by Oui Tue Sep 14th, 2021 |
... kinda prophetic words just a few months ago ...
So will the sanctions standoff that has doomed ratification of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). At the summit, the Chinese side tried to put the sanctions ball squarely in the EU's court, with Xi wheeling out one of his favorite sayings: "He who tied the bell to the tiger must take it off." But Michel made clear that there was next to no chance that the EU would remove its Xinjiang sanctions so long as it was unable to verify that China had put an end to its repression of the Uyghurs.
One Eurasian Theater
Where does this leave EU-China relations? The two sides will continue to talk. A high-level economic dialogue is planned for the end of June. And regular consultations on climate issues will continue. I was told that Beijing is also pushing for an EU-China business summit later this year--an attempt to shift the debate back to economic ties and away from inconvenient issues like war. But the relationship has sunk to a new low, EU officials acknowledge, with no obvious paths for reversing a downward spiral that has been spinning for several years and is now accelerating because of Ukraine. Although the tone at the summit was cordial, a video call between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the EU's Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell three days beforehand was described to me as unusually tense, with Wang furious about the EU's refusal to sign up to a feel-good summit agenda,
How Germany and its companies position themselves on China will help shape the course of transatlantic relations, which are looking stronger than they have in years. Ukraine has focused minds. The two sides clinched a preliminary deal on personal data flows last month, and transatlantic tensions over the EU's crackdown on Big Tech and carbon border tax plans have eased in recent months.
In the run-up to the EU-China summit, European and US officials consulted closely on the messaging. As one senior EU official put it to me: "Americans are re-embracing the importance of Europe. They see the benefits of an ally that can deliver messages to Beijing in a way they can't." In response to the war, Washington and Brussels have moved up their regular bilateral dialogue on China. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is expected in Brussels on April 21-22 for meetings that will also touch on Lithuania, Taiwan, Indo-Pacific strategy, Chinese disinformation, and transatlantic cooperation in multilateral forums, according to US and EU officials.
EU’s Top Diplomat … Worst Choice Possible
Finding his diplomatic results deplorable, I figured to look at his credentials …
Borrell: from controversy to EU's top diplomat | EU Observer - Sep 23, 2019 |
… one of Ursula von der Leyen's most surprising appointments - he is 72-years-old and his career has been marred by more than one contentious event.
"Over the recent years, Borrell has been involved in serious scandals such as insider trading, and conflicts of interest that makes him incompatible with the responsibilities he has been proposed for," Diana Riba of the Greens said.
According to MEP Antonio López-Istúriz of the European People's Party, his parliamentary group expects that Borrell will do "a better job as the head of the EU diplomacy than his predecessor Federica Mogherini, whose management was detrimental for EU external policy".
"Unlike Mogherini, we expect him to have a hard stance on communist regimes such as Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua," said López-Istúriz.
Borrell is also well-known for saying controversial things, that may complicate his hearing taking place on 7 October.
For instance, Borrell has voiced his sympathy for Iran on several occasions - defending the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that US president Donald Trump rejected and pledging to try to save it.
"Iran is a key country in the Middle East region. It has had an essential role in the Syria war, helping Assad while the Americans are pulling out," he wrote on Twitter.
Overall, his relationship with US president Donal Trump is not the best.
Borrell described him as the first US president “to voice hostility towards the European project [and] to describe us as foes".
He also defined China as a "systemic rival", and the EU-Turkey agreement for refugees as a solution “to stop an immigrant haemorrhage".
His comments even made Russia summon the Spanish ambassador to Moscow last May after he referred to the country as an "old enemy [that] is once again saying, 'here I am,' and has returned as a threat".
JIT – Who are the main enemies of Europe: Europhobes, Putin and Trump, or the lack of unity between Europeanists?
JB– Well that’s like choosing between plague and cholera, isn’t it? You can’t say what you would prefer to die from, but if I had to choose, I would say the most dangerous are the internal ones.
Of the external ones, we already knew that Putin… Putin isn’t the Soviet Union, Putin is the revival of Imperial Russia. It’s not a new Cold War; it’s a classic power base aiming to assert itself in territories it believes belonged to it and which it wants to recover. It’s not an intractable enemy – it may have nuclear arms, but its GDP is the same as Italy’s and it has many intrinsic economic and sociological weaknesses. It is an awkward neighbour.
… The US always promoted European integration – firstly because it served as a safety net against the Soviet Union and also because it was in America’s interests to have a partner that was strong enough to warrant consideration as an ally but not strong enough to have its own ideas. But now it’s European integration itself that’s the bogeyman for the US president and that is a global first.
Then there’s China, which we never used to talk about and which has now suddenly appeared as a ‘systemic rival’. That’s Brussels-speak for ‘threat’.
Additionally, Borrell is well known for his anti-separatist position regarding Catalonia - the province where he was born.
In March, he stopped an interview with German TV DW News after the journalist asked him about the independence movement, questioning the Spanish justice system.
Before he is confirmed as the next top EU diplomat, replacing Italy's Mogherini, he is likely to face questions during his hearing about corruption allegations.
A bad choice for Europe …
A Window on the World - Blog by HR/VP Josep Borrell
But perhaps this crisis is a bit different from the others in that it’s a poly-crisis. Namely, it’s a crisis from a multitude of perspectives. There are many factors causing a situation of uncertainty, and also an opportunity to respond to unknowns. The eurozone debt crisis –which certainly was a crisis– has been joined by the migratory crisis, the crisis produced by Brexit… there are many factors of uncertainty.
Borrell can name crisis which explains he is an observer, lacking foresight and vision. At top level one needs to recognize an uncertainty before it becomes a problem or crisis … the person needs to be a true diplomat to get things done. Every visit he made, the crisis deepens …
END OF UPDATE
Earlier diary ...
Fascism Expanded On the Coalition of the Willing
The European Commission penalizes Poland for breaches in the rule of law | Brussels Times - Sep 8, 2021 |
According to the European court (ECJ), the new Polish Disciplinary Chamber is incompatible with EU law since it might impose sanctions against judges. Furthermore, the EU and Poland are butting heads on the issue of the primacy of EU law. For Member States, EU law takes precedence over national law - something Poland challenged in a reply to the Commission in mid-August.
How little Lithuania dragged the EU into its showdown with China | Politico - Oct. 8, 2021 |
Hungary and Poland: Rogue states threatening the EU? | by Frank Schnittger Fri Sep 14th, 2018 |