Jun 11, 2020 / 06:20

EU in dilema

The Hanoitimes - Postponing the Leipzig summit would be the most proper way for the EU to get out of this dilemma.

The much anticipated EU-China summit scheduled for September 14 in the German city of Leipzig was postponed indefinitely. Agreed upon by both parties, of course. And the coronavirus pandemic was mentioned as the reason, since both sides wanted the world to know it that way. This reason was understandable but must not be the real one although both sides tried to convince the world to believe it was.

The EU-China summit scheduled for September 14 in Germany has been postponed indefinitely

This summit would be the highlight of Germany’s rotating EU presidency for the second half of 2020 and the first ever EU-China summit with the attendance of all heads of states and governments of EU members and China's President Xi Jinping. In light of this historic significance of the event, there must be other causes than the simple pandemic which led to the postponement of the summit.

In fact, because of new developments in China relating to Hong Kong and to the Uighur people in China's Xinjiang province and the impending US presidential election, it would be impossible for EU to reach a successful encounter at the highest level with China. Unlike the US or UK, the EU couldn't apply or intend to apply punitive measures against China although the EU, the US and UK are like-minded. China is too important to the EU, so the bloc must always be careful to avoid any open confrontation with this country. If the summit happens as planned, there will inevitably be certain disputes that will eventually undermine it. No summit would be much better than a failed summit for both, but for the EU more than for China.

On the other hand, President of the United States Donald Trump continues his crusade against China to guarantee his chance of being re-elected. Under current circumstances, the EU could not risk angering the White House occupant by holding a summit with China. Now, as well as in the future, the EU still needs the US no matter who the president of this country is to strategically compete with China.

Therefore, postponing the Leipzig summit would be the most proper way for the EU to get out of this dilemma. China doesn't care much about it because for the time being, the Hong Kong and Xinjiang issues are much more important and urgent for China than a summit with the EU.