Borrell warns China to stop Putin from normalizing relations with EU

“Our relations with China cannot develop normally unless China uses its influence over Russia to force Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and end the war. Josep Borrell reiterates the message that in recent weeks, with the full activation of the relationship with the Asian giant of 27, Brussels does. The High Representative assured that “any neutrality that does not distinguish between the aggressor and the attacked is to take the side of the aggressor.” However, Europe’s top diplomat has called for a “new cold war between West and East” to be avoided as tensions between Washington and Beijing rise as the EU seeks its own geostrategic niche.

The search for this autonomous relationship revealed tensions in the 27 which they are trying to calm in Brussels. “In such a complex relationship as we have with China, different points of view are inevitable, because there are different interests in the member states, but if we want to build a coherent strategy in relation to China in the EU, this is it. It is necessary that each actor acts in accordance with the treaties in the implementation of their roles and responsibilities,” Borrell said in a speech in the European Parliament, where he warned that “each going alone affects all states, the Commission. the Council and the European Parliament.

“A strong European policy towards China is based on strong coordination between member states and EU institutions and a willingness to avoid the ‘disconnect and conquer’ tactics that we know we can handle.” We have already seen this tactic in action in recent days and weeks, and now is the time for Europe to take action. Now is the time to show our collective will, it’s time to define together what success looks like and show the unity that makes us stronger”, – this is the message left by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The MEPs, who also showed their different approaches to relations with the Asian giant and, above all, suspicions of French President Emmanuel Macron, after a visit to Xi Jinping, said that the EU should distance itself from the United States and the conflict from Taiwan.

Von der Leyen raised the issue, but Borrell responded to Macron without following him directly. “Taiwan is necessary for Europe. This is the most strategic strait in the world and in particular for our trade,” said the top official, who assured “action” on the island – after Beijing carried out military actions that simulated attacks from aircraft carriers. It should be rejected not only from a “moral” but also from a “strategic” point of view. “Taiwan is part of our geostrategic perimeter,” said Borrell, who chose to “guarantee peace” and “protect EU interests” without “adding fuel to the fire.” “I am sure that all countries share this position,” he added.

EPP spokesman Manfred Weber was among those who strongly criticized Macron, who he said was applauded by “Putin, Le Pen and Podemos”. “This is the preparation of military annexation, it is not an abstract problem. It is not Beijing that decides the future of Taiwan, it is the Taiwanese,” he concluded. “Our relationship with China requires determination, realism and the European Union more than ever,” Social Democrat leader Iratxe García said, before accusing Weber: “This new role you have taken as opposition leader gives you. The same goes for criticizing all European leaders, which is necessary, one day it’s Scholz, the next day it’s Macron, with whom he has no problems and never criticizes the leaders of the extreme right. “Be careful that one day you make the mistake of criticizing Mrs von der Leyen,” ironically hinting at the tension between the PPE and the Commission president, who is from her political family.

Community authorities insisted on the need to pursue a “de-risking” strategy with China, particularly to limit dependence on raw materials at a time when the economic relationship is “terribly unbalanced. In Borel’s words. “Our trade deficit is absolute and it doesn’t stop,” the Catalan politician said of the old continent’s 400,000 million deficit with the Asian giant.

However, Borrell warned that “reduction of risks carries risks”, as he was convinced that the redirection of trade flows to other Asian countries, in turn, means an increase in the relations with China of the states with which they will have imports of raw materials. with which they produce goods, that is, that reducing trade with the Asian giant means doing so through “middlemen” and becoming “indirectly dependent” and weakening these countries.

In addition, he noted that China is a “superpower” that not only produces cheap products, but has significantly increased its attractiveness in the countries of the South. Thus, he said that he is already the first investor in Southeast Asia (ASEAN). “It left us,” he lamented. “It seems that China has already started the process of anticipating the impact of possible sanctions, it is starting to reduce the risk. While we are talking about it, they are already doing it,” he said.

Source: El Diario

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