If Europe continues to indulge US follies, nobody benefits

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/7 20:18:41

According to a Financial Times report on Wednesday, Italy is set to formally endorse the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Although Italy is said to be still negotiating a preliminary deal with China, Washington cannot wait to make a stand against it. The Financial Times report said the US had warned the project could significantly damage Italy's international image and quoted Garrett Marquis, White House National Security Council spokesperson, as saying that BRI is a "made by China, for China's initiative."

The US sees itself as the big brother of the West. It is irritated by the upcoming cooperation between its long-term ally, Italy, and a country which it does not even hide its intention to contain. But that also means that Italy's decision will affect the US' China policy to some extent. Italy will become the first country within G7 to become a part of the BRI.

Italy is the third-largest economy in the eurozone if the UK leaves the EU, next to Germany and France. It is also a major country in the Mediterranean and has a certain influence on its peripheral areas. By cooperating with China, Italy can further enhance its maritime transportation capability and motivate the linkage between all of Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, "Made in Italy" products will have more access to the fast-growing Chinese market, which will serve as a driving force for its sluggish economy.

Washington seems to be inextricably bogged down in its sense of superiority. Such a sense will not fade away anytime soon, as it is the result of years-long accumulation of strength and being spoiled. Europe should understand that if it continues to spoil the US, this does no good to either Europe or the US.

Over the past year, relations between China and Western countries have experienced twists and turns. The US has been engaged in obstructing China from all aspects, be it trade or technology, which has also dealt a heavy blow to China-Europe ties. 

Many EU members are US allies and have traditional defense ties and common security interests with the US. However, such alliances were formed during the Cold War and do not totally conform to the demands of today's Europe and the world.

Europe should not let the US infringe upon its China policies. If Europe follows the US suit and stands with the US to contain China, it is giving away its position as an important pillar of the world, which does not fit Europe's interests and goes against the trend of European integration. 

China values support from EU countries for BRI and hopes to deepen cooperation with the EU via this platform. More active investment by China will help bring the EU closer to the outside world.

China's engagement with the world over the past decades has met with twists and turns. Even Chinese private companies like Huawei are experiencing unprecedented unfair treatment. But China will continue pushing forward cooperation based on openness and mutual benefit. Europe will gain more from its interactions with China and find its due place in the 21st century.


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