NEW YORK (GZERO MEDIA) - Despite its hopes, it is unlikely that the European Union's plan to separate politics and economics will succeed in its ties with China, says American political scientist Ian Bremmer.
Relations between the two have been in the limelight since the EU decided to drop a landmark investment treaty with China a few months ago.
Looking at a column written by former Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs Bruno Maçães, Mr Bremmer disagrees on both fronts with Mr Maçães' perspective, namely that the EU is presenting a united front against China, and that this proposed plan by the bloc is a successful one.
Mr Bremmer observes how "several European countries have made it pretty clear that they don't want to confront China at all", undermining the unified front that the bloc purports to have. He also highlights a contradiction in the response by the various member states. Mr Bremmer notes that "Hungary... has become China's closest partner in the bloc, vetoing EU statements that are critical of Beijing", while "Sweden... continues to hammer China on human rights abuses". With such disparate responses from member states, Mr Bremmer is hardly convinced that the EU have a consistent front against China.
Similarly, Mr Bremmer also disagrees with Mr Maçães' position that the EU's proposed plan to deal with China will succeed. According to Mr Maçães, the core of the EU's plan is to differentiate the politics and economics between the two parties, but Mr Bremmer thinks that this is not a sentiment the Chinese share.
Mr Bremmer cites examples of both China's response to Australia calling for an investigation into Covid-19's origins as well as the collapse of the the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment between China and the EU. In both cases, China has shown its willingness to forgo economic gain in order to defend its political position.
This implies that the EU's strategy is unlikely to pan out in the bloc's favor and that they will still need to accept Beijing's terms, he says.
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