Europe eyes to replace US as China’s prime foreign partner

Last Tuesday in Washington United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (on the right) met with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, the top diplomat of his country. (Date: 28/2/2017. State Dept Image).

Last Tuesday in Washington United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (on the right) met with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, the top diplomat of his country. (Date: 28/2/2017. State Dept Image).

Last Tuesday, Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, received in Washington the top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi , in an effort to establish a “regular high-level engagement” with China, after President Donald Trump has practically destroyed the until recently multiple channels of problem solving and interaction between the two super powers. Obviously, Tillerson felt he had to urgently invite State Councilor Yang to the US to sort out the mess between the two countries.

Reportedly, the American administration, but probably not their boss, are alarmed by the new free trade and otherwise cooperation openings the European Union is currently offering to China. No question that Europe is eager to replace, at least partially, the US as prime economic, financial and investment partner of the still super fast growing and most populous country of the world.

Brussels calls Beijing

It is very characteristic in this respect that Reuters, the prestigious news agency, published a telling story about the swift action of the European Commission, in her efforts to secure Beijing’s fullest possible cooperation in their bilateral relations. The Reuters report says that, “The European Union is preparing an early summit with China in April or May in Brussels, to promote free trade and international cooperation in the face of a more protectionist and inward-looking Washington, three EU officials said”.

On many occasions, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other important German decision makers have openly said or left to be understood that their country is eager of filling the gap the Americans are leaving in China in particular and South East Asia in general. Outspoken German Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, until recently leader of the Socialist Party, said that Germany has to put together an economic plan to charm the Asians “should the new U.S. administration start a trade war with China”. Gabriel said that on 20 January, only hours after Donald Trump took the oath as the 45ht American President.
Germany is ready

However, Germany is a pivotal member state of the European Union and no country of the club is allowed to conduct her own foreign trade policy. So, it will be Brussels and the European Commission to undertake the task of opening new highways in the trade and financial relations between Europe and China.

Incidentally, last Monday, Cecilia Malstrӧm the Swedish EU Commissioner for Trade speaking at an EU-China relations forum in Brussels, said: “If others around the world want to use trade as a weapon, I want to use it as a tonic, a vital ingredient for prosperity and progress.” Of course, she didn’t explicitly referr to Donald Trunp’s threats about imposing extra tariffs on Chinese imports, but it was clear that she was backing China in the battle against Trump’s protectionism. She went even further and remembered that last January in Davos, the Chinese President Xi Jinping said that, his country is now the leader of the globalized world. She also offered her full backing to Xi’s conclusion, that the big global problems can only be solved with multilateral cooperation, not with threats of a trade war.

What is the EU ready to trade?

However, this tide of cooperation proposals emanating from Brussels and directed towards Beijing is not without problems. For years now, the European Commission has been punishing the Chinese exports of steel and steel products with extra duties, on the base of alleged dumping pricing or state subsidies to exporters. In reality, the European Union is not ready to open its internal market to China, and Malstrӧm clarified that “many barriers and irritants” are present in the economic relations between the two sides. Finally in her speech mentioned above, she added that trade between the EU and China is all but balanced.

Undoubtedly, Europe is eager to take advantage from the emerging clash between China and US. This doesn’t mean though that Brussels is ready to pay an unduly price for any Chinese concession. The opposite is rather true. The EU counts to profit from the conflict of other two. In any case, Europe will remain firm in protecting its internal market. Possibly then, some of those questions will be clarified in the forthcoming spring EU-China summit. The main target, though, of this summit is that, both sides want to appear defiant vis-à-vis Donald Trump’s threats about unleashing a trade war. China and Europe have both made clear at the highest level, that they will duly and immediately retaliate.

According to Washington’s progressively greater clarification, whether, during the coming weeks, Trump’s trade war threats are to shape official policies or, on the contrary, policy is to take a different turn, the EU-China summit will produce diametrically different results. Despite all that, the EU and the US are still together in blocking China’s efforts in the World Trade Organization to be recognized as ‘a market economy’, an issue of paramount importance in world trade. No surprises, then, if the  US-China-EU triangle continues to be shaped under the same world geometry, as was the case during the past many years.

 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU Court of Justice invalidates Safe Harbour and the game for thousands US businesses suddenly changes

Mozambique pledging conference hopes to soften devastating blow of back-to-back cyclones

The European Youth explains the age gap in European business in the 21st century

17 ways technology could change the world by 2025

Nearly two million Cameroonians face humanitarian emergency: UNICEF

Financial markets appear to have rallied. Here’s one way to mitigate further shocks due to COVID-19

Technology can help solve the climate crisis – but it will need our help

EU/Africa, Caribbean and Pacific: towards which partnership?

Lagarde’s metamorphoses, not a laughing matter

Trump enrages the Europeans and isolates the US in G7

Diana in Vietnam

Towards a tobacco free India

New UN-Syrian Action Plan signals an ‘important day’ for child protection, says UN envoy

We can feed the world in a sustainable way, but we need to act now

2020’s ‘wind of madness’ indicates growing instability: UN chief

EU, Brazil to hold high level Summit in Brasilia

Security Council renews Central African Republic arms embargo

Why 2020 will see the birth of the ‘trust economy’

Somalia: UN Security Council condemns terrorist attack in which dozens were killed or injured

Amid continued suffering in Yemen, UN envoy welcomes reports of reduced violence

The European Union and Central Asia: New opportunities for a stronger partnership

Deep-sea minerals could meet the demands of battery supply chains – but should they?

To save biodiversity, MEPs call for binding targets at global and EU level

UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

Parliament to vote on new European Commission on 27 November

Parliaments can be pillars of democracy and defenders of human rights, says UN chief on International Day

Technological innovation can bolster trust and security at international borders. Here’s how

Our poisonous air is harming our children’s brains

Autumn Fiscal Package: Commission adopts Opinions on euro area Draft Budgetary Plans

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

I accidentally went viral on TikTok. I learned we failed our youngest generation.

The link between migration and technology is not what you think

Data is the fuel of mobility. Don’t spill it for nothing

What does the world really think about the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Long-term EU budget: Parliament wants safety net for beneficiaries

5 ways to get your business ready for AI in 2020

Tax crimes: MEPs want EU financial police force and financial intelligence unit

How Leonardo da Vinci’s outsider status made him a Renaissance man

MEPs vote for upgrade to rail passenger rights

To improve women’s access to finance, stop asking them for collateral

Obesity rates soar due to dramatic global diet shift, says UN food agency

LGBTQI+ and medicine

What we’ve learned about mental health from young people

Eurozone dignitaries play with people’s life savings

Mental health in times of pandemic: what can each individual do to lessen the burden?

A new catastrophic phase in the Syrian carnage

It’s time for financial services to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Here’s why

Menu for change: why we have to go towards a Common Food Policy

‘Score a goal’ for humanity, says Mohammed, celebrating winning link between sport and development

Security Council resolution endorses moves towards long-sought Afghanistan peace

Recovering from COVID-19: these are the risks to anticipate now – before it’s too late

DR Congo: ‘No time to lose’ says newly appointed UN Ebola response coordinator

MEPs call for safety and liability rules for driverless cars

To solve the climate crisis, we need an investment revolution

MEPs approve €585 million to support refugees from Syria

UNESCO lists wrestling, reggae and raiho-shin rituals as global treasures to be preserved

Draghi sees inflationary bubbles

EU and U.S. castigate Facebook on Cambridge Analytica scandal as citizens’ data privacy goes down the drain again

Bundesbank’s President Weidmann criticises France and the EU. Credibility at risk?

Why good cybersecurity in business is everyone’s responsibility

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s