lørdag 31. juli 2021

EU to Review China Strategy at Forthcoming Council Meeting: Borell

The European Union is reconsidering its relationship with China amid growing concerns over human rights and online security, according to the bloc's foreign policy chief. "The European Union will always be closer to Washington than to Beijing, we will always be closer to a country that has the same political system as ours, a market economy, a multi-party democracy with concurrence in elections, than a single-party country," Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, told journalists in Spain.

"Which is not to say that we have to systematically align ourselves with Washington's positions on Beijing ... we need to find our own position," he said. "At the turn of the summer I will present a report to the European Council together with the Commission analyzing our relationship with China, to see if it is necessary to review the current strategy."

But he said he wouldn't be recommending a Trump-style "economic disconnect" with China. "Regardless of whether we have very different views on the Hong Kong or the Uyghur cases, [that] is something that is beyond our intentions and contrary to our interests," he said in comments reported by the Catalan newspaper El Periodico.

French commentator Wang Longmeng said the Chinese government would likely continue to use economic incentives to woo the E.U., which has been criticized by rights groups over its limp response to human rights violations in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. But he said the E.U. would be increasingly locked in to defending its core values alongside its allies.