tirsdag 7. desember 2021

The EU is finally putting its money where its mouth is on China

The European Union has long been criticized for trying to have its cake and eat it when it comes to China. On one hand, it badly wants a strong economic relationship with its biggest partner for goods trade. On the other, it recognizes the Chinese government is a serial human rights offender and systemic rival. This attempt to balance contradictory realities has often led to policy incoherence from Brussels. It was only this time last year that the EU and China finalized a major investment agreement to strengthen their trade ties.

It included a number of commitments derided by critics as superficial on issues such as climate change, despite China being the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter; and labor rights, despite European lawmakers passing a resolution just weeks before the agreement was finalized condemning Beijing's alleged system of forced labor for Uyghur Muslims in its western Xinjiang region.