THAT is gonna be tough after President t Trump gave most of those leaders shit sandwich’s for four years….And wanted them to pay for it….
In particular, Biden will have to find the right balance with French President Emmanuel Macron, whose main diplomatic guiding principle is for Europe to craft its own China policy in the spirit of “strategic autonomy” instead of following the U.S. lead.
That’s on top of Germany, whose outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel is less interested in calling out Beijing’s human rights violations than ramping up car sales in the country Washington sees as its biggest geopolitical rival.
“The EU agrees with the U.S. on certain concerns arising from China’s rise to be a global power,” a senior European Union diplomat said. “But China is more of a concern for Washington than for Berlin or Paris. After all, it’s the American economy that will be overtaken by the Chinese one.”
The diplomat added: “Biden is going to get a lot of smiles in Europe because it’s no longer the Trump era where if we don’t listen, we’re an enemy. The signs, so far, have been largely positive.”
Still, listening isn’t the same as agreeing.
The EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, proposed a transatlantic agenda as soon as Biden’s win was declared. While China is a main issue in the agenda, the EU isn’t shy about the differences it has with the U.S. on how to tackle the challenge. “As open democratic societies and market economies, the EU and the US agree on the strategic challenge presented by China’s growing international assertiveness,” it says, before adding: “even if we do not always agree on the best way to address this.”….