China, Europe can work together against decoupling initiated by the US: Roland Berger Global Managing Director
Published: Aug 27, 2020 05:49 PM

Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok pose for a photo before their talks in the Hague, the Netherlands, Aug. 26, 2020. Photo:Xinhua

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi is visiting five countries in Europe by invitation for one week starting from Tuesday. Wang said the visit aims to promote China-Europe relations and boost world peace and development.

Denis Depoux, global managing director and head of Asia of Roland Berger, said that Europe and China can work together and there is a window of opportunity to achieve something that is mutually beneficial both to Europe and to China, in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and the aggressive American policy toward China.

"In the last few months, in the context where the US policy towards China has been very aggressive, a lot of uncertainty has been created for international businesses, especially for European businesses," Depoux told the Global Times in an interview on Thursday.

Wang said that the momentum of China-Europe relations is good in general, but it is also suffering various friction and even sabotage by external forces, the Xinhua News Agency reported.


Denis Depoux, Senior Partner, Global Managing Director and head of Asia of Roland Berger Photo: Cui Meng/ GT


Wang's visit looks like a sign that, and maybe this is understood, there is a bit more momentum in accelerating the ongoing negotiations on a comprehensive agreement on investment and trying to take advantage of the imbalance between China and the US, Depoux noted.

The comprehensive agreement on investment, or the China-EU bilateral investment treaty (BIT), has been under negotiations but has not been concluded as scheduled, which analysts said was due to barriers in arranging face-to-face negotiations under pandemic prevention measures. 

"There is the hope that it can be concluded this year. The expectations of Europe toward China are very clear," said Depoux.

But China and Europe have to fight together against decoupling initiated by the US. "Decoupling is evil. It's something that would be extremely detrimental to the global economy and growth," Depoux added.

"We cannot let this happen. Europe and China have to fight side by side against decoupling. But in order to fight against this, China needs also to take some steps forward in order to conclude agreements with Europe. I assume that this is one of the objectives of Wang's visit," said Depoux.