How Europe Fell Out of Love With China - Foreign Policy


This week's summit, and the increasingly terse tone taken by top European leaders, follows a spate of new EU initiatives meant to curb Beijing's worst excesses. Last week, the EU unveiled a new scheme meant to fight back against China's use of state subsidies to give its firms an unfair advantage against European rivals; this fall, a long-planned investment screening mechanism meant to shield key European firms and industries from predatory acquisitions will finally be implemented. Both, while nominally directed at all non-EU countries, aim squarely at China.

Taken together, "it gives the impression that the EU wants to show that it is time for a change, time for a recalibration of the relationship, and that it is time for China to give more," said Frans-Paul van der Putten, an expert on China at the Clingendael Institute, a think tank in the Netherlands.

If many of Europe's complaints about China sound familiar to those levied by U.S. officials including President Donald Trump in recent years, that's because they are. But there's one big difference, for now, in Europe's reaction to China that still sets it apart from Trump's scorched-earth approach.

"Europe is much more concerned about China, and there is a much greater sense of urgency that something needs to happen," van der Putten said. "But there is still a very strong conviction in Europe that there is no future without China-we are not going to 'decouple' or have an economic disengagement. You don't see that in the European mindset."

By Keith Johnson. Click on the image below to got to the article.