onsdag 13. mars 2019

Lost in translation: ‘Economic diplomacy’ with Chinese characteristics

EU and member states’ relations with the PRC should seek a level playing field and maximum reciprocity in market access. EU member states should strive to coordinate their China policy to utilise their collective bargaining power, rather than compete with each other by entering into uneven bilateral relationships with the much larger PRC.

Pan-European solidarity should be invoked whenever an individual member state is pressured by the PRC, for whatever reasons. The EU should also resist outside attempts at dividing the community by organising arbitrary sub-groupings of states or regions. Economic relations with the PRC should be free of political interference and manipulation. The practice of hiring former politicians and high-ranking civil servants for positions in foreign companies should be checked with codes of conduct, or legislation, if need be.

Elite capture, the ultimate result of political influence activities, threatens to repurpose democratic institutions as tools of foreign authoritarian control. Member states should protect the integrity of their political systems through conflict of interest (CoI) legislation, especially for former government officials, a frequent target of these activities.