In 2019, Chinese CCP dictator Xi Jinping arrived in Europe as part of an outreach summit. For years the EU has seen China as just another large market, but reports from that meeting show how many in the EU now see China as a serious hegemonic threat. The real question is, can Israel use the changing attitude in the EU as leverage to ensure it remains impervious to Chinese expansion?
China has for years used its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to expand its sphere of influence and ultimately control around the word. Like many global elite in America, the EU has largely supported Chinese expansion. Israel too has felt Beijing’s reach with large scale investments.
However, as CCP run China becomes more demanding and in many cases belligerent, many members of the EU have taken a second look at their relationship with China. Surprisingly, Emanuel Macron, not known for his strength of conviction has decided to take the lead in pushing back on China in a careful and measured way.
With France assuming the EU leadership role in 2021, Macron is trying to find a consensus policy on China between countries like Germany who is very attached to Beijing and smaller countries like the Czech Republic and Sweden who oppose working closely with China.
However, despite Macron’s posturing, there is a real possibility he is only attempting placate many of the EU countries less enamored with woking with a Communist dictatorship. We see evidence of this from Macron’s following tweet, tweeted after the signing of the latest investment deal between the EU and China:
“The dialogue between Europe and China has strengthened and become more balanced these past few years. It continues.”
The EU’s non-unified approach to relations with the CCP and China have affected Israel’s ability to take a stand. After all, Macron is not and has not in the past addressed China’s human rights abuses whether they are directed against Tibetans, Urghurs, or even just traditional Chinese. Macron appears to want business as usual with just one caveat – Beijing needs to stay out of the EU’s business.
The CCP is more than happy to oblige – for now.
Given China’s close affinity with Iran and its unrivaled expansion into Africa, Israel has little choice but to work to slow down China’s advance while staying on good terms with the rising dragon.