EU own goal: Bloc could become 'sideshow' over China gamble – Germany 'paves way to doom'

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EU own goal: Bloc could become 'sideshow' over China gamble – Germany 'paves way to doom'

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China: ‘Cold war two has already begun’ warns Ellwood

The EU’s reluctance to openly criticise Beijing in a bid to safeguard trading relations between the bloc and China will eventually backfire, US author Michael Schuman has warned. He said Germany would pay the biggest price, with the bloc’s caution “paving the way to its doom”.

He wrote for Politico: “Europe may not want to choose sides between the United States and China.

“But like it or not, its leaders will eventually have to, and the choice will be stark: stand by the US, or become an international sideshow.”

The “balancing act” Europe is trying to sustain between China and the US will “become increasingly untenable”, he warned.

He added: “With rapprochement between China and the US nowhere in sight, they are both poised to woo Europe ever more aggressively.”

eu news china trade deal us von der leyen

EU news: China could make Brussels an ‘international sideshow’ unless it sides with the US (Image: GETTY)

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China will not play fair, says Schuman (Image: GETTY)

The US author argued European leaders should look at the dilemma with an eye to long-term interests, claiming China’s strategic plan will ultimately always be to make Europe less safe.

He said: “On the face of it, choosing the US or China seems an impossible decision: between Europeans’ historic commitment to the US and the democratic values that have cemented it, and the lure of new riches from a rising economic powerhouse, albeit an authoritarian one, that could ensure their economic future.

“In other words, it’s a choice between principles and profits.

“But this is a false distinction. The choice is really between long and short-term interests.

READ MORE: China plans to rule the world and we are playing into their hands

joe biden china eu trade deal

Joe Biden urged EU leaders to be tougher on China (Image: GETTY)

“The reality is that China aims to create a world that is not safe for Europe — strategically, economically or ideologically.”

The EU signed an investment trade deal with China at the end of 2020.

The agreement, which is yet to be ratified by MEPs in the European Parliament, was mainly pushed for by France and Germany.

After seven years of negotiations, Brussels and Beijing finally came to a solution to foreign investments between the two blocs.

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eu china trade deal december commission

The EU-China trade deal was signed in December 2020 (Image: GETTY)

EU’s trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis told CNBC in December that “the main purpose of this agreement is to address the economic imbalance in our relations.”

He added: “The EU’s market is substantially more open to Chinese companies and investment than China’s market is for EU companies and this agreement helps actually to address this imbalance.”

The deal states China “will no longer be able to prohibit access or introduce new discriminatory practices” on manufacturing and some service sectors too.

But Mr Schuman warned EU leaders would be “naive” to think China will stick to the rules.

china president xi jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping (Image: EXPRESS)

He said: “Simply hoping the Chinese will play fair is naïve.

“While Beijing threatens and blusters that Europeans must keep their markets open to 5G gear from Huawei, the Chinese are sidelining European telecom firms in the China market.

“Ultimately, China is simply not a true partner for Europe. The longer Europeans fail to grasp this, the weaker their position will become. China will continue to exploit the divisions between democracies to advance its interests.

“European politicians will strain relations with the US by cynically reaping economic benefits from China while Washington does all the fighting.

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EU-China trade deal: Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron defended the agreement (Image: GETTY)

“By the time Europe realises it needs America’s help, it could discover Washington has found other, more reliable friends.

“Ultimately, the choice between the US and China should be determined by what Europeans want their role in the world to be.

“They could defend the liberal order they helped create and continue to participate in global leadership.

“Or they could sit back and watch authoritarian China knock away the pillars of the current order, and the sources of European influence with them.”

He asked: “Is the choice really that hard?”



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