Why China and the EU should jointly resist the US decoupling push

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Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a virtual meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday and they reached consensus on opposition to economic decoupling. Wang said major economies like China and Germany should jointly resist decoupling, and Maas noted that decoupling is not in the interests of either party, according to a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry.

As the United States tries to coerce its allies to disassociate itself from China, the German Foreign Minister’s comment on decoupling reflects the true view of European countries on the political maneuver of the United States to preserve its hegemony. European countries are not expected to simply follow the lead of the United States in cracking down on China to the detriment of their own interests.

Germany and other European countries are fully aware that the United States’ decoupling campaign is against market principles and economic laws. From the unilateralism of the Trump administration to the small clique of the Biden administration, US-centric approaches are primarily aimed at serving the economic and political interests of the United States, which undermines the development interests of the United States. Most countries of the world, including the American allies.

As major manufacturing and trading powers, Germany and China have common interests in maintaining stable global industrial and supply chains. China and Germany maintain close and mutually beneficial cooperation in the automotive and other sectors. The large Chinese market is of great importance to the German auto industry, and the two sides still have broad prospects for cooperation in electric vehicles and related fields.

The attempt to restructure the industrial chain pushed by the United States serves only the interests of American companies. In addition, Germany and the United States still have friction over issues such as tariffs. The United States even threatened to impose sanctions against Germany on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Russia to Germany.

Of course, China and the EU also have a complicated relationship with competition and cooperation. Bilateral relations have indeed faced a challenge after the EU imposed sanctions on China over allegations of “forced labor” concerning the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China.

But at this critical juncture, the EU should avoid being hijacked by the US-led small clique and imposing arbitrary unilateral sanctions based on false information. Instead, China and the EU should bridge their differences and promote economic and trade cooperation to help the global post-COVID recovery.

As the Chinese and German foreign ministers noted during their meeting, China and the EU should continue to cooperate in areas such as trade, investment, health, clean energy, digital economy and 5G technology.

Most importantly, China and the EU should promote vaccine cooperation. China and the EU share a common ground on this issue, both supporting expanding accessibility and supplying vaccines as a global public good. In particular, it was reported that the European Medicines Agency was considering including vaccines from China and Russia in its procurement system.

Regarding the issue of the industrial chain, the EU is very clear that the manufacturing sectors of some Member States are already lagging behind and that it is not realistic to bring the industrial chain completely back to the EU. Therefore, the EU places more emphasis on the globalization of the industrial chain. On this issue, Europe and the United States have different positions. The EU supports multilateralism, and China and Europe both insist on the stability of the global supply chain.

The blatant decoupling approach of anti-Chinese US politicians undermines global industrial and value chains and harms the interests of all parties. In terms of historical experience, this strategy of pan-politicization can only shoot itself in the foot. China is the most promising economy with a complete manufacturing chain and a dynamic market. Forced termination of cooperation with China is against the will of all parties and is doomed to failure.

In the digital age, the development of countries must inevitably be strongly integrated. The United States should adjust its strategy designed on the basis of the old zero-sum gambling mentality. Business is business. The United States should deal with economic and trade matters in accordance with market principles and economic laws.

American politicians should adopt a more responsible strategy towards their own consumers, businesses and other economies. China’s short-sighted and narrow approach to forced decoupling from China undermines the competitiveness and long-term credibility of the United States.
Source: Global Times



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