Skip to main content

Chinese Foreign Minister in Europe to prevent transatlantic front against Beijing

MERICS, Berlin ­
­The facts: China’s diplomacy is getting into gear again after a months-long, coronavirus-induced break. In his first trip abroad since the beginning of the pandemic, Foreign Minister Wang Yi is touring Europe this week to bolster relations. Wang visited Italy and the Netherlands on Tuesday and Wednesday. He will also travel to Norway, France and Germany to discuss collaboration during and after the pandemic – including vaccine development and economic cooperation – and the role of multilateralism in a changing global order. 

What to watch: Huawei and Hong Kong will be particularly hot topics. Beijing hopes to persuade countries not to ban the use of the telecom equipment maker’s 5G technology or overtly tighten regulations that might lead to de fact bans. Berlin has been one of the European governments most reluctant to consider Huawei’s exclusion from 5G networks. After EU member states last month initiated measures to counter China’s actions in Hong Kong, Wang will reassert Beijing’s line that foreign governments should not interfere in China’s internal affairs. The standoff led to tensions on Wang’s tour: Hong Kong activist Nathan Law was invited to Rome by Italian MPs and gave a press conference in Front of the foreign ministry as Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Wang met inside. In the Netherlands, foreign minister Stef Blok raised concerns about Hong Kong and human rights and a Member of Parliament gave a press conference on human rights violations in Xinjiang on the sidelines of Wang’s visit.  

MERICS analysis: “The main goal of Wang’s visit is to stop the formation of a strong transatlantic front against China. The explicit focus on multilateralism is an implicit criticism of the US – and a call for Europeans to maintain independence from the US in their decision-making. It is also an attempt by Beijing to frame Europe’s toughening stance on China as a response to US pressure. But European sentiment towards China has changed mostly as a result of Beijing’s opaque initial handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, its over-the-top ‘mask diplomacy’, and its policy towards Hong Kong,” says MERICS analyst Lucrezia Poggetti. 


Popular posts from this blog

Menon meets Karzai, discusses security of Indians

Kabul/New Delhi/Washington, March 5 (IANS) India Friday said that the Feb 26 terror attack in Kabul will not deter it from helping rebuild Afghanistan as National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon met Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul to review the security of around 4,000 Indians working in that country. Menon, who arrived here Friday morning on a two-day visit, discussed with Karzai some proposals to bolster security of Indians engaged in a wide array of reconstruction activities, ranging from building roads, bridges and power stations to social sector projects. The Indian government is contemplating a slew of steps to secure Indians in Afghanistan, including setting up protected venues where the Indians working on various reconstruction projects will be based. Deploying dedicated security personnel at places where Indians work is also being considered. Menon also met his Afghan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta and enquired about the progress in the probe into the Kabul atta

Iran is losing the game to regional actors in its strategic depth

Rethink before It’s Too Late Iran is losing the game to regional actors in its strategic depth –Afghanistan. By Houman Dolati It is no more a surprise to see Iran absent in Afghanistan affairs. Nowadays, the Bonn Conference and Iran’s contributions to Afghanistan look more like a fading memory. Iran, which had promised of loans and credit worth five-hundred million dollars for Afghanistan, and tried to serve a key role, more than many other countries, for reconstruction and stabilization of Afghanistan, is now trying to efface that memory, saying it is a wrong path, even for the international community. Iran’s empty seat in the Rome Conference was another step backward for Afghanistan’s influential neighbor. Many other countries were surprised with Iran’s absence. Finding out the vanity of its efforts to justify absence in Rome, Iran tried to start its

Pakistani firm whose chemicals were used to kill US troops seeks subsidy for Indiana plant

By Jennifer Griffin, Justin Fishel Published March 22, 2013   A Pakistani fertilizer maker whose chemicals have been used in 80 percent of the roadside bombs that have killed and maimed American troops in Afghanistan is now seeking U.S. taxpayer subsidies in order to open a factory in Indiana.  The request appears to be on hold pending further review, but the situation has stirred outrage in Congress, where some accuse the Pakistani government of halting efforts to clamp down on the bomb-making.  For the past seven years, the U.S. government has known that the raw material calcium ammonium nitrate, or CAN, is making its way across the border into Afghanistan where the Taliban use it to fuel their most deadly weapons, namely the improvised explosive device. IEDs have long been the number one killer of U.S. and coalition troops.  The material largely comes from Pakistani fertilizer maker the Fatima Group. But the Pakistani government has stymied attempts by the Pentagon to stop the