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Analysis: Xi’s European Tour Exposes China’s Self-Delusion – Eurasia Review

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s European Tour: A Failure in Rewarming Relations with the EU and Weakening Transatlantic Ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s European Tour Fails to Warm Relations with EU

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s European tour in May 2024 aimed to improve relations with the European Union and weaken transatlantic ties, but it ultimately fell short of its goals. The European Union’s announcement of duties on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) and the anti-Chinese sentiment expressed in the G7 Leaders’ Communique highlighted the challenges faced by China in its diplomatic efforts.

During his tour, Xi visited France, Serbia, and Hungary, strategically chosen countries with varying relationships with China and the EU. In France, Xi celebrated 60 years of diplomatic relations and signed cooperation agreements across various sectors. However, France’s support for the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs posed a challenge for China’s lobbying efforts.

In Serbia, Xi used the visit to denounce the United States and strengthen ties with a country that has EU candidate status. Meanwhile, in Hungary, Xi emphasized the strong partnership between the two countries, particularly in investments in sectors like lithium-ion batteries and EVs.

Despite meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Xi faced pushback on issues like the Russian invasion of Ukraine and EU-China economic relations. Macron and von der Leyen called on China to influence Russia to end the war in Ukraine, but Xi remained firm in his stance.

In Serbia and Hungary, Xi focused on deepening ties and cooperation, highlighting the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative and rejecting hegemonism and power politics. However, the EU’s announcement of duties on Chinese EVs and the G7’s condemnation of Chinese subsidies and over-production underscored the challenges faced by China in its relations with Europe.

Overall, Xi’s European tour did not achieve its intended goals of improving relations with the EU and weakening transatlantic ties. The EU’s response to Chinese policies and actions indicates a shift towards a more pragmatic and realist approach, signaling a new era in EU-China relations.

Authors David Camroux and Earl Wang provide valuable insights into the dynamics of Xi’s European tour and the challenges faced by China in its diplomatic efforts. Source: East Asia Forum.


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