Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has not just finished his week-long European tour with a tail on his feet, but if he ever believes that Beijing can only win against Europe by pointing to the extreme cold war rhetoric of Europe’s natural allies. America.
The five-nation tour has, of course, marked the end of an era where China can no longer move away with simple homecoming about will-win solutions, multilateralism and non-interference in the internal affairs of others. Even pointing to Donald Trump is no longer enough to win a European friend.
Instead of stopping at every stop of his visit, Wang was reminded by the presence of pro-democracy leaders in Hong Kong that China could now pay a political price for imposing new security laws in Hong Kong and postponing elections there, stressing that stranded Uyghur Muslims are only going through some useful work experience training. .
The question is whether that political value will be converted into any economic value.
Nathan Law, a self-exiled Hong Kong activist, traveled to both Italy and Germany to confront the people for the repression of Hong Kong, arguing that the policy of reasoning had failed and needed to be reconsidered.
Sometimes long-term press conferences in France, Germany and Norway did not go the way of the foreign minister, leading the independent Nobel Peace Jury to threaten Norway if it awarded Chinese human rights activists. The most important part of the visit, due to Germany’s leadership role, was to defend itself after the Minister of Czech Senate’s speaker in Berlin “briefly” visited Taiwan and threatened the Czechs at an unspecified high price.
Throwing the card at German Foreign Minister Haiko Mash Wang, he said such threats were not appropriate, calling on Hong Kong to hold legislative elections “quickly and impartially” and repealing new security laws.
Extensive security is involved in rebuilding China. Germany, led by France, is set to unveil a strategy for the Indo-Pacific region that will further strengthen Berlin’s defense ties with India, Japan and Australia. Mash knows that he is working hard against the tide of public opinion. The polls show that the less people like China’s reaction to the Covid-19, the more people examine it.
But the foreign minister will be happy that no new specific sanctions have been mentioned, and Huawei has argued for Germany’s 5G network. He will also note China’s continued pulling power. The President of France, the Prime Minister of Norway welcomed him and spoke on the phone with the Prime Minister of Italy. Only in the Netherlands and Germany did he have to settle for a meeting with his opposite number. All in all, Wang was rarely fed but was not excluded.
He noted that the European Union’s patience has been weakened by its unfulfilled promise of equal access to the Chinese market and its promise to end Chinese state subsidies. Negotiations on a new investment agreement have stalled and will be raised again on September 1 at the EU-China Virtual Summit. There is a growing awareness within the Commission that communication with China has gone too far.
The epidemic has shown over-reliance on external supplies, not just health products, but also strategic minerals such as lithium and cobalt where China specializes. The topic of discussion in Brussels may not be US-style decoupling, but diversity is a goal.
China’s bet is likely to remain that the EU needs China more than the EU, but the foreign minister, a final diplomat, has a lot left to reconsider.