The EU and China have a complex strategic partnership, but tensions have emerged in recent years. China’s top diplomat Wang Yi has called on the EU to clarify its stance on their relationship to strengthen communication and cooperation.
The Current State of EU-China Relations
The EU and China established a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2003 focused on trade, investment, and cooperation. However, tensions have grown since 2019:
- The EU now views China as an economic competitor and “systemic rival”.
- The EU wants to reduce dependence on China due to concerns over human rights, technology transfers, and China’s behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The EU is wary of China’s strengthened alliance with Russia following the Ukraine invasion.
EU leaders have advocated for decoupling certain economic ties from China in order to assert the EU’s sovereignty and de-risk dependencies.
Wang Yi’s Request for Clarification
During regional meetings in Indonesia, Wang Yi called on the EU to clarify its stance on their strategic partnership. He urged the EU not to backtrack on their commitment and expressed concern over Europe’s “de-risking” strategy.
Wang warned against politicizing economic matters and said “de-risking” should not mean “decoupling”. He reiterated that China and the EU have no fundamental conflicts of interest and should strengthen communication, trust, and cooperation.
Prospects for EU-China Dialogue
Despite tensions, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said his discussion with Wang Yi was constructive. They discussed:
- China’s potential role in ending the Ukraine war and providing humanitarian aid
- Maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait
- Building a balanced and sustainable European security structure
While the relationship’s future remains uncertain, the dialogue indicates both sides are willing to engage in discussions to shape their ties in a complex geopolitical environment. Wang’s call for clarity will likely prompt the EU to reconsider its current approach.
In conclusion, open communication and diplomacy will be crucial for the EU and China to navigate their changing relationship in a way that serves both parties’ strategic interests.
This article is based on the original news published on Cryptopolitan.