US and EU’s ‘convergence’ stance towards China

FILE PHOTO: Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks at the State Department in Washington, DC
FILE PHOTO: Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks at the State Department in Washington, DC, U.S. August 18, 2021. Andrew Harnik / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo

December 3, 2021

By David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and European approaches to China are “increasingly converging,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said on Friday, following a meeting with the head of foreign affairs. of the European Union.

US President Joe Biden has stressed the importance of working closely with allies in pushing back against what his administration sees as increasingly assertive Chinese behavior around the world.

The EU and the United States on Thursday expressed concern about China’s actions in the East and South China Seas as well as the Taiwan Strait, which they say has a “direct impact” on security and prosperity. their.

Sherman, speaking at a briefing organized by the Brookings Institution with Stefano Sannino, secretary general of the European External Action Service, said Washington is committed to “matching” with its European partners to attract China. by “collective strength”.

“We see our approach and the EU approach to the PRC as complementary and increasingly converging and interconnected,” she said.

Sannino, speaking after two days of talks with Sherman in Washington, said the EU recognizes China’s importance, but does not shy away from Beijing’s unconventional actions. He called China’s recent moves against EU member Lithuania “extremely disturbing” and “unacceptable”.

“When I see how the… Biden-Harris administration is defining their relationship with China, when I see how they define their interests in the Indo-Pacific region, I think we are are really going in the same direction,” said Sannino.

Sannino said Europe is working to create an environment in the Indo-Pacific conducive to cooperation, but where the costs of confrontation are “extremely high”, including an increased security presence. security of this country.

He said the EU wanted to strengthen economic and cultural ties with democratic Taiwan, an exporter of key components to European industry that Beijing claims as its own.

China downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania after Taiwan’s Representative Office in Lithuania opened on November 18.

Since then, Lithuanian officials say China has imposed a customs block on Lithuanian exports, and is pressuring companies in third countries not to do business with the small Baltic country. little.

While both Sherman and Sannino emphasized common concerns and approaches, EU-US relations are still recovering from the shock of the deal between the US and former EU member Britain, providing Australia with nuclear powered submarine, has done a major French contract with Canberra 2021-11-03.

Sannino says it’s not just a commercial issue, it’s also an issue of trust.

“We can’t say this isn’t a scar, but all cases of scarring can be healed,” he said. “So it depends a little bit on the effort being made, on the drug you apply.”

He said Australia is an important and like-minded partner in the region.

“So I hope that this can be done and it can return to a more normal state. And I hope that this can happen sooner rather than later.”

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Michael Martina and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Alistair Bell) US and EU’s ‘convergence’ stance towards China


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