European Union works on an effective strategy to assess China ties: Report
The annual Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) took place earlier this week under Slovenia’s European Union Presidency with the aim of deciding the future of the bloc in light of increasing calls to enhance resilience to effectively address ongoing challenges. As part of the discussions, the European Union is working on a robust strategy to manage China’s policies in Taiwan amid Beijing’s diplomatic clash with Lithuania.
According to media reports, EU foreign ministers will be holding their first high-level talks on the bloc’s multifaceted ties with China in view of China’s increasing involvement in the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan as well as other regions.
A senior EU official familiar with the development has revealed that the agenda behind the talks is to analyze where the complex EU-China relationship stands in the world order. He added that the bloc has three different pillars to guide the discussion – partnership, competition, and systematic rivalry – to assess the pros and cons and advances and problems related to the relationship.
“From the strategic perspective, we are looking at a changing world order that we have to come to terms with and that is moving from geopolitics to geoeconomics, from the Pax Americana, to what I would call comprehensive competition,” a senior Dutch Foreign Ministry official said during the BSF.
Earlier, a European Union panel called on the bloc to boost partnership with Taiwan, in an attempt to counter the increasing assertiveness of China at a time when the world is experiencing a geopolitical disorder across various fronts. On Wednesday, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee adopted a report, directing the bloc to initiate efforts to extend closer relations and bilateral investment agreements with Taiwan.
“The first European Parliament report on EU-Taiwan relations sends a strong signal that the EU is ready to upgrade its relationship with our key partner Taiwan,” the report said.
Furthermore, the European Council will be meeting next month to discuss China’s strategy amid reports of an EU-China summit before the end of the year.
Evidently, Beijing has expressed its discontent with efforts to reinforce EU-Taiwan ties, maintaining that it violates the country’s “One-China principle”.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson of the Chinese Mission to the EU expressed Beijing’s strong opposition to the EU’s efforts, nothing that they undercut mutual trust and cooperation between the two sides. In addition, China has urged the European Union to assure steady development of China-EU ties and halt its Taiwan-related endeavors.