According to the People’s Daily, China’s leading newspaper, the intense interaction between China and major European countries has triggered speculation that Germany and France are competing with the UK for closer cooperation with China. The article highlights that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are going to visit China one after another this and next week. The paper, the semi-offical public outlet for the Chinese Communist Party notes that their visits come right after Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s ‘fruitful visit to the UK that will probably herald a “golden era”‘ for both countries.
Reflecting on this story, I have two observations.
Firstly, despite increased European commonality and bureaucracy from the EU, France and Germany are bitterly competitive with both each other and more particularly the UK.
Secondly, American observers should reflect that America has deliberately downplayed relations with European countries under the Obama presidency. For me, Obama’s foreign policy has been a complete disaster, losing the US geo-political clout.
These leads to two open questions:
- It will be interesting to see how closely European countries, like the UK, France and Germany align their strategic interests with China?
- How will America and Russia responds to China’s closer ties to the UK, Germany and France.