Espreso. Global

China is encroaching on Europe

28 March, 2024 Thursday

China wants to take Washington's place at the head of the European table. In other words, China is trying to impose its own configuration of the future on Europe

Chinese leader Xi Jinping will visit France in early May. Before that, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit China. The trips come amid Beijing's efforts to reduce hostility with the EU, Politico reports.

China wants to restore its damaged relations with Europe - through Xi's "boundless partnership" with the criminal Putin.

“China has chosen the right time to be restless: The EU has long been under the bad influence of political bullies from the United States, and now Washington is distancing itself from Brussels. Therefore, “it's time to steer Europe in the opposite direction, toward risk reduction.””

What "risks" are, is clear even without a decoder. For example, Beijing reacted sharply to the EU's unprecedented decision last month to blacklist Chinese companies because of their ties to Russia. Its huge electric car industry is also close to entering a trade war with European regulators, who accuse the Chinese state of subsidizing the new giants. On the other hand, China is keen to retain European investment in the Chinese economy, which is experiencing huge turbulence due to the unstable real estate market.

Xi's Paris meeting with Macron will take place a year after the French president's visit to Beijing: last year, the French president tried to pull an owl on the Chinese globe over the EU's head:

"Europe must reduce its dependence on the United States and avoid being drawn into a confrontation between China and the United States over Taiwan"... The "big risk" Europe faces is that it "will get caught up in crises that are not ours, which prevents it from building its strategic autonomy". These words of Macron's last year looked like a desire to challenge North Atlantic unity, although it went no further than words.

Now the French leader is taking on the role of European leader. And it is to him that Xi is flying. Characteristically, this meeting will be one-on-one.

The situation seems to have changed, and today there is no reason to suspect Macron of any treachery; he has taken a radical anti-Putin stance.

“On the other hand, one does not need to be an oracle to understand that in a conflict with two empires at once-the current one with China and the expected one with the United States-the European community will find it difficult to resist: The Old World needs to cooperate with one of the superpowers.”

Europe's economic vulnerability to China is well illustrated by Eurostat data: European exports to China are half as much as imports from the country.


  • Imports - €514.4 billion.
  • Exports - €223.5 billion.


  • Imports - €42 billion.
  • Exports - €25 billion.

Germany is almost the only country in balance:

  • Imports - €94.5 billion.
  • Exports - €97.3 billion.

The high degree of anti-European Trumpism in the United States gives Beijing grounds to talk to European politicians with strong economic bargaining chips. But it is not only trade that Xi will trump. The Chinese leader is "selling" the myth of taming Putin, "easy" and "fast" peace, and a common security space from the Global South to the North Atlantic. For this reason, he is convincing Europe to invite Russia to the table of peace talks in Switzerland, organized by Ukraine... Otherwise, "Beijing will boycott such meetings".

And of course: Putin is also going to China in May: according to Reuters, even before Xi's visit to Europe. The puzzle is complete.

Beijing's "charity" is very tempting for the EU and dangerous for Ukraine, as the bunker fuhrer will not only go unpunished, but will also bargain for the occupied territories and repeat all that nonsense about "demilitarization" and denazification of Ukraine.

But there is some good news: Beijing's special envoy's trip to the EU did not cause a stir in European capitals, and hopefully Xi will not be able to reverse this trend either. After all, Europeans should have learned Putin's main lesson: dictators are soft-spoken, sharing cheap resources, but then all this flattery turns into global crises.


About the author. Orest Sohar, journalist, Obozrevatel editor-in-chief.

The editors don't always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

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