The twentieth summit between the European Union and China, which ended on 16 July 2018 in Beijing, reinforces the collaboration between the two actors both at the economic-commercial and the geopolitical levels.
With US President Donald Trump apparently hell bent on upending global rules, can Europe and Asia join forces to shore up a rapidly weakening multilateral order? New initiatives unveiled by the European Commission for revamping the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and setting governance standards for transport, energy and digital connectivity offer opportunities for more joint Europe-Asian action.
The state of relations between Europe and China on the issue of bilateral direct investments has recently become more and more delicate. Precisely since the end of 2017, which marked a milestone in Europe-China economic relations. For the first time ever, Chinese direct investment flows exceeded their German counterparts, traditionally the largest European investors in the Middle Kingdom.
Since the beginning of trade tensions with the US, Beijing intensified its outreach to Europe in search for allies. In a ‘charm offensive’, China showed goodwill by suggesting it would make economic and political concessions. Particularly, it addressed issues of reciprocity, i.e. EU requests to have equal access to the Chinese market as Chinese investors and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) do in Europe, and Europe’s concerns over Chinese initiatives undermining EU unity and rules.
“Friends are revealed in misfortune”. This is what the Chinese President Xi Jinping declared at the opening of the Eastern Economic Forum taking place on 11–13 September 2018 in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok. And friends are indeed necessary to counter a powerful enemy.
No great power relationship has been as volatile as that between the United States and China. The US and China are each too globalized and dynamic to contain, too successful and entangled with each other to divorce without causing another global financial and geopolitical earthquake. The United States is here to stay as a great power. China is back as one. The Middle Kingdom seems likely to become ever wealthier, technologically advanced, internationally prominent, and militarily powerful.
"Internet security and informatization are important and urgent. The dual goals of security and development are like two wings of a bird and two wheels of an engine. No internet safety means no national security. No informatization means no modernization": it was February 2014, and Chinese president Xi Jinping chaired the first meeting of the "Cybersecurity and Informatization Leading Group" (CILG), a new body of the Chinese government in charge of all cyber affairs, including political, economic, cultural and military issues.
The upcoming meeting between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping is the main political event of the year in terms of Russian-Chinese relations. On the agenda there is the implementation of the agreement to reach a $200 bln bilateral trade level by 2020, the task that was assigned by the leaders of two countries. The key precondition for the success of this agreement is shifting to a new model of cooperation, with more connected production chains and diverse investment ties.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reforms and opening up. In four decades, China has learned how to grasp the benefits of globalisation and has become a world economic champion. As the world’s second-largest economy, today China is no longer the factory of the world but an industrial power aiming at the forefront of major hightech sectors, in direct competition with Europe and the US. In sharp contrast with Trump’s scepticism on multilateralism, President Xi has renewed his commitment to growing an open global economy.
U.S. American President Donald Trump announced – during his first Asia tour in November 2017 – that it was now time to think about the Indo-Pacific strategy. This has de facto put an end to Washington's previous Asia-Pacific strategy adopted by Trump's predecessor in 2011: the U.S. "pivot to Asia". This shift increases the chances of recreating what has been known as the so-called 'Quad', that is, an alliance which comprises the US, India, Japan, and Australia.