After President Xi Jinping’s visit to Rome last week with a major success that Italy became the first G7 nation to join China’s ambitious global Belt and Road infrastructure project, Xi arrived in France this week with the aim to sign contracts with Emmanuel Macron, and will attend an impromptu summit with Germany's Angela Merkel and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Paris today.
Xi’s move seems to open a new era to EU-China cooperation and relationship, but European doubt over China’s purpose also loom large, despite the agreement that a solid and table EU-China relationship is needed.
The Times (26th Mar, Paris) depicts Xi’s offering as the Chinese easy money and strategic push into the continent, which France and Germany try to resist by a more cohesive and united policy.
Euronews (26th Mar, Paris) stated that Macron is seeking to put a united Europe front when dealing with Chinese affairs, which seems to be an inexplicit response to Italy’s unilateral embrace to China’s infrastructure project as an EU country.
Moritz Pieper, a lecturer on international relations at the University of Salford in Britain, said Italy’s move to accept China’s lure, despite opposition from the United States and Brussels, had caused alarm in Europe (26th Mar, South China Morning Post).
However, on the other hand, the deal and financial performance Xi brings to Europe are quite huge and apparent.
According to the latest news from BBC, Airbus has secured multi-billion dollar jet order from China during Xi’s visit in Paris.
Besides that, around 1 billion euros deal about renewable energy between French energy company EDF and China Energy Investment Corporation was signed this Monday in Paris (26th Mar, Daily Mail).
Chinese media tends to illustrate Xi’s trip more as a friend visit with gifts, kindness, good intention and a focus on economic collaboration and cultural communication (26th Mar, Xinhua News).
f the story is just like how Chinese media narrates, one main task of Xi on the impromptu summit held today seems to try his best to persuade his European counterparts to melt their doubt and misunderstanding, and to believe China surely comes to seek cooperation with full sincerity rather than to promote its political ambition further into European continent.
Whether Xi’s visit to Europe and China’s move in his EU-China strategy a blessing gift? Comms8’s view is that at least all the signals released at the economic level are positive and inspiring and a short-term financial benefit to European economy is obvious to see. However, a long-term watch should also be taken to check whether there is a complicatedly ambitious intention hidden in China’s luring treat. Let’s keep close eyes on it.
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