US has been working full time to drive a wedge between the EU and China: MEPs
Published: Apr 11, 2023 08:53 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

It's in the interests of the EU to have good relations with China, said Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Clare Daly in an interview with the Global Times.

"We have noticed, in the period of time since we have been in the European Parliament, hostility and anti-Chinese rhetoric creeping into the debates. That's not in the EU's interest." said Daly, "We have tried to understand where it comes from. The only conclusion we can come to is that China is a 'threat' to US economic interests, not security interests. In desperation, they [the US] are trying to drag the EU with them into their camp. But we don't think anybody should have camps," She noted. 

Daly, together with her colleague Mick Wallace, an MEP for Ireland South, were on an unofficial trip to China as recent days seen extensive exchanges between China and European countries. 

A flurry of trips by European leaders to China is taking place. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, French President Emmanuel Macron and the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had just concluded their visits. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock will be the next senior European officials to China this month.

"Europe should be aligning with the countries that form the majority of the world's population, which is outside the Global North, and arguing for peace in an independent way and working with everybody," said Daly, adding that Europe is in crisis at the moment, and how that will shape out will be very interesting.

China and the EU have an extensive economic relationship. The EU has been China's biggest trading partner for 15 years in a row, and China is Europe's biggest source of imported goods. During President Macron's visit, China and France signed a record container ship order. Spain also deepened its trade relations with China. 

"Hopefully some of these visits now are the beginning of the door opening, the beginning of breaking that US domination and the idea that the EU must be in their camp and not China's camp," Daly told the Global Times。

After spending several days in China, French President Macron emphasized "strategic autonomy" for Europe and highlighted that Europe must reduce its dependency on the US during his flight back from the state visit. 

"We don't think that China is a threat to security to people of America, but we do believe that America feels the threat of China to its financial supremacy, and that's a big problem for the Americans," Wallace told the Global Times. "For the US, it is using Europe as a tool against China. I believe Europe should have an independent policy toward every country, and we shouldn't be dictated by the Americans."

"Having a healthy, peaceful relationship with China makes sense for the people of Europe," Wallace said. He noted fighting with China, behaving aggressively and sending warships to the South China Sea are not positive. "It's not in the interests of both the people in Europe and China. Everybody's going to spend more money on defense, which is stupid. That doesn't make any sense," the MEP said. 

The US media have reported on the European leaders' visits to China with a sour grape mentality. The New York Times said French diplomacy undercuts US efforts to reign China in. "Beijing is eager to avoid the EU falling further under US influence, at a time when the White House is pursuing a more assertive policy to counter China's geopolitical and military strength," according to Politico.

"This is the constant mantra from the US, this is what they do all of the time. Sadly, they generally bring the EU with them and the EU repeats this nonsense as well. It just reveals that China is an economic threat to the US in terms their dominant position," said Daly. 

She noted that the US has been working full time to drive a wedge between the EU and China and Russia, adding that the US has lost in reality while desperately "trying to keep the EU, maybe Australia and the UK, as the last group of people to bring with them."