German MEP Reinhard Butikofer has warned European leaders of the risk of China‘s “divide and conquers” strategy. Mr Butikofer has argued the Germany and France should restrain from “selfishly” looking to guide EU-China relations. He warned that the EU members states should agree to a united position on the issue of China and said that the EU in recent times has moved forward collectively on a number of fronts to face down Beijing.
Mr Butikofer told Express.co.uk: “European China policy cannot be dictated from a single or just two capitals.
“If we allow Germany and France to play so selfishly that will feed into a Chinese divide and conquer strategy.
“That Beijing has been pursuing through the 16 plus or 17 plus one format for instance.
“But I think you can identify clear evidence that Europe is moving beyond that.
“When you look at economic dimension we are now working on an anti-coercion instrument in order to be able to defend ourselves from coercion.
“Like China is now placing or trying to place on Australia.
“We are working on the IPI, the Internationa Procurement Instrument that would see more reciprocity in procurement relations.
“We are working on an anti-subsidy measure to push back against industrial subsidies that are illegal under WHO terms.”
“Because that would not only much the Commission very much at odds with European Parliament, and the Commission does need the European Parliament.
“It would also alienate other EU member countries that have been signaled by Paris and Berlin that somehow these two important capitols think that they should be in charge of China relations.
He added that France Germany would risk giving the impression that “everybody else would be relegated to the sidelines.”
“And should be clapping in admiration of Merkel and Macron,” added the European Green Party MEP.