torsdag 18. juni 2020

Even if Europe wanted to break away from China post-Covid, it couldn't

The Covid-19 pandemic has kick started a difficult global conversation about whether Western liberal democracies should radically rethink their relationships with China, an authoritarian regime upon whom many of these nations' economies rely. This has been especially confronting for the European Union, which has spent the past few years actively seeking greater engagement and cooperation with Beijing, with the ultimate goal of smoother two-way investment and access to one another's considerable markets.

At a glance, an EU-China reset looks simple enough. Despite the bloc's move towards China, the transatlantic relationship is the cornerstone of the United States-led Western order. A European pause on the current talks with China to take stock of what's happened and what European priorities might be post-Covid, while economically costly, could be wise. It would also be welcome and popular in Washington. However, China's actions since the pandemic began have not led to the conclusion in Brussels that now is the time for Europe to go cold on China.