The European Union is not united in its approach to China, the European Council meeting proved. Too much hostility can be dangerous

European Union member governments are trying to decide how far to break sensitive trade ties with Beijing. The reason is the EU’s experience of heavy dependence on Russia, which was revealed by the lack of supplies of energy raw materials after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, he wrote. Political.

European businesses rely on imports from China, which total a value of 230 billion euros, roughly 5.5 trillion crowns, which is almost equal to the value of the Czech Republic’s gross domestic product – the do more than 6 billion crowns.

For example, Berlin tries not to interfere with its broad business interests in China. France, on the other hand, has been hesitant to follow the United States’ approach of increasing pressure on Beijing and limiting Western countries’ exposure to Chinese influence in critical supply chains.

Politico’s servers have reportedly been granted access to the final statement of Thursday’s European Council meeting. “It has a less hostile tone towards Beijing than other recent statements from Brussels,” the site reported.

While European Union leaders called on Beijing to urge Russia to stop its war of aggression and withdraw its troops from Ukraine immediately, completely and unconditionally; However, they are wary of too much criticism. “The EU and China share a common interest in maintaining a constructive and stable relationship,” the proposal read.

The problem lies, among other things, in the dispute between the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. “Now we have a big problem where the President of the European Commission listens to the United States and the President of the European Council listens to China. This is nothing new, but the Schumann area is increasingly becoming a playground instead of an equalizer with China,” said an EU official.

The official was referring to former French politician Robert Schumann, who was one of the main architects of German-French reconciliation after the Second World War and, along with Jean Monnet, is considered the founder of the European Union.

Several Western EU countries want to act independently of Washington. “They, with the support of Charles Michel, are tired of being separated from Russia and they piously think that a softer stance can buy them time in the China case. EU leaders may also not want to push China against Russia, especially after the recent events with the Wagner group – but this is a false hope,” said China expert Marcin Przychodniak of the Polish Institute of International Relations.

A softer attitude toward China is taking shape on both sides of the Atlantic. Although the United States and the EU have sharpened their rhetoric against Beijing over the South China Sea and Taiwan, the United States in particular is trying to negotiate with China.

Beijing also indicated its willingness in June when America’s chief diplomat, Antony Blinken, received an award in the form of a welcome from Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Diplomats usually don’t see him.

Roderick Glisson

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