European Perception of China Shifts Towards Economic and Technological Cooperation

The EU's perception of China is shifting towards economic and technological cooperation, with Hungary's support for China's development and the EU's interest in joint initiatives on the circular economy and new energy vehicles.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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European Perception of China Shifts Towards Economic and Technological Cooperation

European Perception of China Shifts Towards Economic and Technological Cooperation

The European perception of China is undergoing a significant shift, moving away from decoupling and ideological confrontation towards a focus on economic and technological cooperation. This change in perspective was highlighted during a recent meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto in Beijing.

Wang Yi called Hungary a "European country of unique influence" and urged it to encourage the EU to adopt a "rational and friendly view of China's development" and pursue a "more active and pragmatic China policy." Szijjarto, in turn, expressed Hungary's opposition to "decoupling" with China and welcomed more investment from Beijing under the Belt and Road Initiative. He stated that treating China as a partner was the "right choice" and that Hungary would work to boost China-EU relations through connections with Budapest and Beijing.

Despite the souring of relations between China and the US, several European leaders have visited Beijing this year. However, the EU and some member states have also taken action against China in recent months, suggesting new tariffs on imported Chinese-made cars and opening an investigation into how Beijing grants public contracts for medical-device manufacturers.

Why this matters: The shifting European perception of China has significant implications for global trade and geopolitics. As the EU explores ways to promote greater economic and technological cooperation with China, it could lead to a realignment of alliances and a new dynamic in international relations.

Experts and executives have dismissed the "overcapacity" narrative pushed by some Western nations regarding China's new energy industry as a form of bald protectionism. They argue that China's edge in emerging fields like new energy vehicles is driven by market behaviors and sufficient competition, rather than government subsidies. China's new energy industry continues to provide affordable and high-quality production capacity, catering to the growing global demand for new energy products.

The EU and China have also agreed on a joint roadmap for greater collaboration on the circular economy, a vital issue for both sides. The roadmap defines actions to be taken by both the EU and China to implement the EU-China Memorandum of Understanding on the circular economy, focusing on plastics, battery value chains, and remanufacturing. "The transition to the circular economy is a global challenge, and closer and continuous engagement with China is key to achieving shared environmental ambitions," said a representative from the EU.

As the European perception of China shifts towards economic and technological cooperation, it presents new opportunities for both sides to deepen their ties and work together on critical issues such as the circular economy and new energy technologies. While challenges remain, the commitment to dialogue and collaboration between the EU and China is a <a href="https://english.news.cn/europe/20240425/9fcd4045597441bda507b39167e097fd/c.html" target="_

Key Takeaways

  • EU-China relations shifting from decoupling to economic cooperation
  • Hungary promotes closer China-EU ties, opposes decoupling
  • EU explores new tariffs on Chinese-made cars, medical devices
  • Experts dismiss "overcapacity" narrative on China's new energy industry
  • EU and China agree on joint roadmap for circular economy collaboration