Beijing is now Europe's rival

Xi Jinping greets Jean-Claude Juncker, with Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, at the entrance of Elisha

Xi Jinping greets Jean-Claude Juncker, with Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, at the entrance of Elisha, on March 26.

The relations between Brussels and Beijing are changing and this will have consequences already at the summit taking place this Tuesday.

It is most likely that in the end there will be no joint statement due to disagreements about trade, strategic investments and human rights.

The signal was given on March 12, when the European Commission and the head of European diplomacy Federica Mogherini published a new "strategic perspective" on the subject in light of "China's growing economic power and political influence." The document portrays the Asian giant in the following terms: "China is both a cooperation partner with which the EU has closely aligned objectives, a negotiating partner with which the EU must find a balance of interests, an an economic competitor in the race for technological leadership and a systemic rival that promotes alternative models of governance."

For MEP Jo Leinen, China's Xi Jinping demonstrates an obsession with "total control", which led Europe to wake up and take action. "In a few years it has transformed from a friendly country into a hostile competitor," the German Social Democrat told Bloomberg. "China lost the battle with the United States and is on its way to lose the battle with Europe," Jo Leinen predicts.

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