Damned if EU Do, Damned If EU Don’t: Borrell Says China Will Win No Matter Outcome in Ukraine

EU China flagsInternationalIndiaAfricaThe EU’s top diplomat has spent the past year-and-a-half making hawkish statements about the Ukrainian crisis, demanding a military solution, rejecting Russia’s right to security guarantees, and saying he feels “more like the EU’s defense minister” than foreign minister. In March, he said China’s peace plan was “not sufficient” to end the crisis.European Union high representative for foreign policy Josep Borrell fears China will succeed in its push to build its own “world order” no matter how the crisis in Ukraine wraps up, and has urged the bloc to create its own “coherent strategy” toward Beijing independent of Washington’s.

"The China issue is more complex than the Russia issue," Borrell wrote in a confidential letter to EU foreign ministers reportedly seen by UK business media. "China's ambition is clearly to build a new world order with China in its center."

Borrell claimed that even a “Russian defeat” in the ongoing proxy war with NATO in Ukraine “will not derail China’s trajectory,” and that Beijing would even “manage to take geopolitical advantage of it.”Reversing course on comments made in March about the infeasibility of China’s 12-point Ukraine peace plan, Borrell urged Brussels to “engage seriously” with Beijing on the conflict, suggesting the EU will welcome “all genuinely positive moves coming from China aimed at finding a solution.”The diplomat urged the EU not to try to “block the rising power of emerging countries,” indicating that the EU “must be aware that many countries see the geopolitical influence of China as a counterweight to the West and therefore to Europe,” and that “they will seek to strengthen their own room for maneuver without picking sides.”

Borrell's unusually conciliatory tone marks a start contrast with remarks he’s made publicly about the crisis in Ukraine in recent days, weeks and months.

On Thursday, the senior diplomat announced that the EU had trained over 17,000 Ukrainian troops, and that the bloc hopes to train about 30,000 soldiers total by the end of the year. Borrell also boasted that the EU has spent over 16 billion euros ($17.5 billion US) assisting Ukraine, saying Brussels is “not finished” in this endeavor. Admitting that the crisis would end “immediately” if the EU stopped sending military support, Borrell stressed that “that is why we must continue helping Ukraine.”WorldBorrell: Ukraine Conflict Could End Immediately if West Stops Weapons Supply to Kiev10 May, 21:23 GMTAt the same time that he’s bashed Russia and pledged to continue supporting the US and NATO hardline in Ukraine, to the point of being ready to empty out the EU’s ammunition stockpiles, Borrell has sought to soft talk China, saying recently that Europe does “not fear China’s rise,” and that “the history of tomorrow’s world will also depend on how China uses its power.” Last week, the diplomat reiterated calls for Brussels to develop its “own way of facing China.”China put together a 12-point Ukraine peace plan in February, centered around the conflicting parties abandoning their “Cold War mentality” and recognition that the “security of a country should not be pursued at the expense of others,” including by creating exclusive military blocs. The plan calls for an immediate halt in hostilities, the immediate resumption of talks, the resolution of the humanitarian crisis, protections for civilians and prisoners of war, and an end to unilateral sanctions.The United States immediately dismissed China’s proposals, with President Biden claiming it can’t be “any good” if Russian President Vladimir Putin is “applauding it.” European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen accused China of taking “Russia’s side,” and called the peace plan “misplaced.” Putin said the Chinese proposal could be a basis for a settlement, and accused the West of seeking to fight Russia “to the last Ukrainian.”The EU has paid a heavy price for its full-throated support for the US-led proxy conflict in Ukraine, with the bloc hanging on the brink of a recession, and facing long-term damage including deindustrialization as major companies seek to relocate to countries where energy is cheaper.The spike in energy costs comes amid Brussels’ push to restrict the purchase of Russian energy. Along with higher energy costs, the crisis has resulted in galloping, double digit inflation in many EU countries. Earlier this year, a German Chambers of Industry and Commerce report calculated that that Germany alone will lose up to 160 billion euros ($171 billion), or 4 percent of its GDP, in growth by the end of the current year thanks to the crisis.AnalysisWestern Inflation: Self-Inflicted Problem With No End in Sight05:00 GMT


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top