For decades, China and the European Union have been on generally good terms in spite of the political vicissitudes in the international arena. Increasingly close economic engagement has brought real benefits to both sides, cementing what was a comprehensive strategic partnership.
Even at the most challenging moments during the recent upheavals in China-US relations, there was a general understanding in Beijing that the EU would be a sensible, reliable partner. And there was a lot of talk, on both sides, about the bright prospects ahead.
Sadly all that seems vulnerable in the face of the escalated geopolitical changes since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out. It turns out the EU is far from immune to the ideological virus that is wreaking havoc in international relations.
The April 21 and 22 meeting between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and European External Action Service Secretary-General Stefano Sannino, for the third high-level meeting of the US-EU Dialogue on China, for instance, came as another blow to Beijing’s confidence in its benign interaction with the EU. In the statement released after the meeting, the two sides warned China about the “consequences” of any form of support for Russia, accusing Beijing of the “amplification of Russia’s disinformation”. It also presented a litany of the allegations with which Washington habitually smears China: “economic coercion” against other countries, human rights concerns in Xinjiang, and “rules-based order” in the Indo-Pacific, as well as threatening the “status quo” in the Taiwan Straits.
“(China) has benefited enormously from the rules-based international order over the last several decades. But now they are increasingly seeking to undermine that very system…” Sherman said.
Condemning the allegations as groundless attacks on China, a spokesperson of the Chinese Mission to the EU denounced the remarks as “nothing but blatant examples of bloc politics and ideological bullying”. It is not China which is undermining the international system. Washington’s fuse-lighting of the Ukraine conflict reveals which country is seeking to blow up the system and start again.
In an article published in People’s Daily on Sunday, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave a detailed elaboration on the Global Security Initiative that China proposed at this year’s Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference in a bid to further clarify China’s position and reduce the trust deficit that Washington is fostering, aggravating and exploiting.
The initiative calls on all countries to act responsibly, resolve differences and disputes through dialogue and uphold the concept of shared, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. A repeat of the Cold War hurts all countries. The EU should not let the festering wounds of that time cloud its judgment and leave it susceptible to the snake oil that Washington is prescribing as the remedy for the world’s ills. -China Daily