- EU swings to Washington’s course
- Beijing mediates between Tehran and Riyadh
- New government in place
- Deutsche Bahn relies on Huawei despite security concerns
- Belgian government bans TikTok
- Hong Kong activists jailed
- Heads: new Defense Minister Li Shangfu
The world is once again sorting itself into the blocs my generation grew up with. Europe as a junior partner of the US in the West against an East consisting of Russia and communist China – this seems familiar. The impression of this development was reinforced over the weekend during Ursula von der Leyen’s visit to Washington.
The EU Commission president partly ignored the protectionist economic policies of the US in order to close ranks against China. Although Joe Biden did make some concessions on some trade issues, US policy is still fairly unfriendly to EU companies. However, it was China that was seen as the true competitor and rival during the talks, analyzes Eric Bonse. This will be even more true if it supplies weapons to Russia.
China’s close ties to Russia are also the biggest obstacle to the offered peace mediation with Ukraine. The situation was different in Saudi Arabia’s conflict with Iran. Washington was biased toward Riyadh. Therefore, it could not mediate. China, on the other hand, was truly neutral in the Middle East – and managed the resumption of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, writes Joern Petring. However, the process does not show that China can mediate in Ukraine, but rather how crucial true neutrality is.
General Li Shangfu exemplifies China’s lack of neutrality toward Russia. He is the new Defense Minister of the People’s Republic – and as the top procurement officer for the People’s Liberation Army, he was a big fan of Russian armaments. Read our Heads section to learn more about Li’s excellent connections to Moscow.
US and EU join forces – against China
The US and EU plan to cooperate even closer in the future against rivals such as China. Both sides want to work to “strengthen our economic security and national security”, announced US President Joe Biden and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after their meeting in Washington on Friday evening.
Biden and von der Leyen agreed that both sides should diversify their supply chains. They also want to extend barbs against market-distorting practices and economic coercion. Although the statement mentions China only once, Beijing is the prime target of the warnings.
US softens defenses against EU firms
The goals mentioned are not necessarily new. What is remarkable now, however, is that they are presented together. After all, there are enough tensions of their own between Brussels and Washington. Numerous trade issues remain unresolved.
- Raw materials
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