July 17, 2018
Forget the idea of an anti-Trump alliance between the EU and China
FAZ makes a number of good points in its coverage of the EU-China summit in Beijing - the other summit that took place yesterday and received much less attention than the bizarre spectacle in Helsinki. Co-operation between the EU and China is progressing but at a very slow pace - and, most importantly, there is no EU-China alliance against Donald Trump as the Chinese had wanted. Despite the statement by Trump that the EU was a bigger foe than China in terms of the trading relationship, there were no efforts by Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker to seek a strategic alliance with Li Kequiang, the Chinese prime minister. There were still fresh memories of the failure of last year’s summit in Brussels, when China refused to sign the joint declaration over its demand to be officially recognised as a market economy.
What both sides agreed this time is to create a joint working group to make suggestions for the reform of the WTO. But the Europeans reiterated their criticism of intellectual property theft by Chinese companies, and called on the Chinese leadership to confront this issue. The EU also called on China to make itself less dependent on investment and exports - a condition for a future bilateral investment agreement.
The article noted a fall in Chinese investments in the EU during the first half of this year. There is also an important sectoral shift going on. The Chinese are becoming less interested in classical manufacturing companies, but more interested in infrastructure, energy, high-tech and pharmaceuticals.