by Przemysław Myszka
"Analysts have long talked about the end of an American-led system and the arrival of an Asian century. This is now happening in front of our eyes," Josep Borrell, European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, said. He furthered, "We need a more robust strategy for China, which also requires better relations with the rest of democratic Asia."
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission and Competition Commissioner, added, "In the part of west Denmark in which I grew up, we were taught that if you invite a guest to dinner and they do not invite you back, you stop inviting them." In her view, Europe needs "to be more assertive and confident about who we are."
At the same time China's President Xi Jinping champions "openness" in Davos, which according to Kai Strittmatter, author of expert books on China, should be read as the country's openness to scale-up overseas, while maintaining a tight grip on domestic affairs, including controlled access to the Chinese market.
Are we, therefore, witnessing the end of EU's passive stance towards China's rising global presence?
Are the Chinese ready to revise their Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to onboard more foreign partners as well as to make it "lean, clean and green" after having been burned by loss-making projects?Download PDF