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.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Refugee crisis update: EU fails to relocate immigrants from Greece and Italy

Gender disparity in salary and promotion in medicine: still a long way to go

Financial Transaction Tax: More money for future bank bailouts?

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

The EU Parliament endorses tax on financial transactions

Camino de Santiago – a global community on our doorstep

Fighting for minds of youth in Latvia

EU-US to miss 2015 deadline and even lose Germany’s support in TTIP’s darkest week yet

Mental Health Policy, a significant driver for growth

Can China deal with climate change without the U.S.?

Where are the charities in the great Artificial Intelligence debate?

Who is culpable in the EU for Ukraine’s defection to Russia?

Security Union: political agreement on strengthened Schengen Information System

Women in video games: ‘Accept it, or don’t buy the game’

Trade wars won’t fix globalization. Here’s why

EU to Telcos: Stop Mergers and Acquisitions but please help me urgently with 5G development

Greece did it again

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

Catalonia secessionist leader takes Flemish ‘cover’; Spain risks more jingoist violence

Palestinian Bedouin community faces demolition after Israeli court ruling, warns UN rights office

Ukrainian civil war: Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Egypt urged to free prominent couple jailed arbitrarily since last June: UN rights office

At global health forum, UN officials call for strong, people-focused health systems

Tougher defence tools against unfair imports to protect EU jobs and industry

An Easter Special: Social protection of migrants in Europe as seen through the eyes of European youth

Social Committee teaches Van Rompuy a lesson

It’s Time to Disrupt Europe, Digital First

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

Preparing for developing countries the ‘Greek cure’

Bertelsmann Stiftung @ European Business Summit 2014: Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TTIP) needs balanced approach

Commission facilitates the activities of ‘merchants of labour’

European Commission: Does Apple, Starbucks and Fiat really pay their taxes?

Snowden is the “EU nomination” for this year’s Oscars

France sneaks into the Geneva US-Iran talks to claim its business share in Tehran

More answers from Facebook ahead of Parliament hearing today

Entrepreneur India Convention 2016: Bringing together Entrepreneurs, Investors, Startups and SMEs

How Greece was destroyed

China-EU Special Report: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang endorses China’s big investment on Juncker’s plan at 10th China-EU Business Summit

AIDEX 2015: Humanitarian Hero Award Winner Announced

Is there a way out of the next financial crisis? Can more printed money or austerity save us all?

UN chemical weapons watchdog adds new powers to assign blame, following attacks

Cyber defence: MEPs call for better European cooperation

New skills agenda for Europe needs real investment

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

The EU banking union needs a third pillar guaranteeing deposits

Is sub-Saharan Africa ready for the electric vehicle revolution?

New identity cards deliver recognition and protection for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

EU to pay a dear price if the next crisis catches Eurozone stagnant and deflationary; dire statistics from Eurostat

OECD: Mind the financial gap that lies ahead

Young students envision turning Europe into an Entrepreneurial Society

Berlin cannot dictate anymore the terms for the enactment of the European Banking Union

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

What can stop the ‘too big to fail’ bankers from terrorising the world?

COP21 Paris agreement: a non legally-binding climate pact won’t stop effectively global warming while EU’s Cañete throws hardest part to next Commission

Europe moulds global defense and security chart given US new inward vision

Why do medical students need to go abroad to become a doctor in 2017?

Eurozone to enter the winter…

Ideology is the enemy of growth

German opposition win in Lower Saxony felt all over Europe

Catalan Pro-Independence vote: how many hits can Brussels sustain at the same time?

More Stings?

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 )

w

Connecting to %s