The Strategist

China: We are not going to split Europe

04/08/2019 - 16:04

On the eve of the EU-China summit, the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China assured that Beijing does not need a split of the European Union. However, Brussels is seemingly afraid of the Chinese "Divide and Rule" policy.

Friends of Europe via flickr
Friends of Europe via flickr
On the eve of the EU-China summit, Premier of the PRC State Council Li Keqiang rejected accusation that Beijing wants to split the EU. "We actively support the European integration process in the hope of a united and prosperous Europe," Head of the Chinese government wrote in an article for the German newspaper Handelsblatt, published on Monday, April 8.

Beijing’s active cooperation with Eastern European countries contributes to raising their economic level and serves to strengthen unity of the European Union, Li Keqiang said. The joint interests of Europe and China, in his opinion, far outweigh the existing differences.

However, Brussels is alarmed by China’s activity in Eastern Europe. China has repeatedly been accused of the fact that its cooperation with the countries of Eastern Europe within the European Union is aimed at dividing the EU. Li Keqiang’s meeting in 2018 with heads of government of 16 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, at which he discussed cooperation in key areas of the economy, aroused Brussels’s concern. A number of politicians from the European Union believe that the Chinese policy of "divide and rule" may be dangerous for the unity of the EU.

The summit of heads of state and government of the EU countries and China will be held in Brussels on April 9. Li Keqiang assured that Beijing is ready to cooperate with the EU in various areas of the economy, in protecting the climate, fighting terrorism, and solving other global problems. Shortly before the summit in Berlin, Paris and Rome announced their intention to strengthen relations with China. However, European diplomats fear that the meeting in Brussels could end without signing a final agreement because of disagreements on trade, investment and human rights in China.

EU Commissioner for Budget, Günther Oettinger believes that Beijing has recently won a lot because of Brexit. Europe has been paralyzed over the past two years because of the upcoming British withdrawal from the European Union, the European Commissioner said in an interview with the Welt newspaper.

Brexit costs the European Union time, effort and money, he states. As a result, development of the European Union in various fields is inhibited. According to the politician, Beijing, in turn, is actively occupying niches in the innovation market, in particular in the development of artificial intelligence and high-speed mobile communications standard 5G.