The EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell stated the EU does not need to choose between the US and China, however does need “strategic autonomy” to safeguard its interests.
“There is an increasing confrontation between China and the US. It is something that will frame tomorrow’s world,” Borrell informed a group of reporters on Friday (29 May).
“We have to keep a certain degree of autonomy in order to defend our interests,” he stated.
“The EU is not neutral in that confrontation. We share the same political system with the US and we don’t want to embrace the political system of China,” Borrell stated, including, nevertheless, that the EU had its own particular interests that were not the like those of theUS
He stated the EU did not desire to disrupt its financial and trade relations with China, as the US did, and did not desire to desert multilateralism, specifically when China desired to take a larger role in multilateral organisations.
” We do not have to choose [between the US and China],” he stated, including that”some people would like to push us to choose, but we don’t have to choose, it has to be like Frank Sinatra’s song, ‘My way'”
“We have our own interests and we should be able to defend them,” the Spanish political leader specified.
Borrell stated the need for “strategic autonomy” is “more understandable than ever”, as the Covid-19 pandemic clarify Europe’s dependence on the global market, and China, for medical products.
“We have to have strategic autonomy on practical terms, it means being able to respond to a crisis by our own means and we don’t have these means,” he stated, including that this “requires political will”, however that the EU had actually just advanced through crises.
His comment came as the EU’s capability to assert itself as a global gamer was put to test by China’s actions recently to override Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status.
On Friday, EU ministers gone over Hong Kong, and Borrell released a declaration on their behalf, stating the bloc has “grave concern” over China’s current action, “which are not in conformity with its international commitments” and”risks to seriously undermine the ‘One Country Two Systems’ principle”
The declaration stated China’s actions even more cast doubt on its will to support its international dedications.
The bloc’s leading diplomat called the declaration “very tough, saying it is ” among the greatest” ever provided onChina
Nevertheless, he stated sanctions were just discussed by one member state (according to EU diplomats, it was Sweden).
‘ The majority of pushing’
The potential customers of talks with Turkey on migration have “not been very positive”, partially since member states do not desire to participate in settlements on an offer up until the Turkish drilling off Cyprus’s coasts does not stop, Borrell likewise stated.
Borrell remembered, nevertheless, that relations with Turkey can not be just about migration.
He stated informing Turkey to stop migrants in exchange for funding is “not enough to built a sound and positive relationship” on visa, augmentation, energy, and geopolitics in Libya and Syria.
Taking a broad technique has actually been partially avoided by the videoconferences, that have actually taken control of physical conferences due to the coronavirus pandemic, headded
Borrell called the EU’s relationship with Turkey the “most important”, “most pressing” on the bloc’s foreign affairs program.
He prepares to take the concern of relations with Turkey to the conference of EU foreign affairs ministers for assistance.
‘ We will see’
On another concern, where the EU’s merged voice has actually been put to the test, the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Borrell firmly insisted the bloc would not identify any modification to the 1967 borders, unless the Israelis and the Palestinians both concurred to it.
On the possibility of Israel annexing parts of the West Bank, Borrell stated”the EU would continue to strongly urge Israel not to take any steps in this direction”
“We are using all our influence as much as we can in order to try to deter that from happening, if this happens we will see,” Borrell stated.
He remembered that the bloc has actually been joined on considering it an offense of international law, however that 2 member states – Hungary and Austria according to earlier reports – did not desire to go even more with possible repercussions.
Borrell stated he welcomed the brand-new Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi to the EU foreign affairs ministers’ conference to “explain his position”.