Xi Jinping walks around Europe in show of defiance to US

Emanuel Macron with Xi Jinping

Image credit X MFA China

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Xi Jinping seeks to drive divide in Europe with 3-nation trip

 By Manish Anand

New Delhi, May 7: On a day when the French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping with finest wines, four naval flotillas of China lorded the waters of the Philippines in the South China Sea. Xi is now heading to Serbia and Hungary after wrapping up a significant two-day visit to France.

Xi embarked on a three-nation Europe tour on Monday. This is his first visit to Europe after 2019. In the last five years, Xi squared up with Europe on the continent’s bod to ‘de-risk’ in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Xi had hosted Macron in April last year. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has twice visited China after Xi took the third term as the President of China.

“Macron talked about how Europe needs to be sort of more independently-minded from the United States,” CAN quoted Chong, a non-resident scholar at Carnegie China, who added: “France seems like a useful place for Xi to start.”

Macron had created a flutter last year with his remarks that the European Union should not be dragged into a tussle over Taiwan. China and the US last year saw their relations nosediving over the Taiwan issue in the backdrop of the visit of Nancy Pelosi to Taipei. Pelosi was the Speaker of the US Congress at the time of her visit to Taiwan.

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Significantly, the US has sought to manage the relations with China by opening channels of communications. The US Secretary of the State, Antony Blinken, recently visited China. Earlier, the US Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, had visited China.

The US has been trying to show its naval powerplay in the South China Sea. The YS, Japan, and the Philippines recently held a joint drill of the navies in the South China Sea. This was met with a counter Chinese show of strength.

Xi is looking at Europe with hopes against the US assertions on “Chinese export of overcapacity”. The European strategic affairs observers have noted that France may allow China to set up ambitious EV (electric vehicle) bases in the country.

Watch: #china splits #europe I What is significance of Xi Jinping’s Europe tour

By capitalising on Macron’s articulation for an European autonomy in strategic affairs, Xi is seeking to make deep economic inroads in the continent which is known for capital surplus.

France on the other hand has lent its voice to the EU for balanced trade with China. Germany also has been seeking balanced trade with China.

Serbia and Hungry are known as key allies of China in Europe. They are also partners of the Belt and Road Initiative of China.

Xi is seen sending out firm message to the US that China has wherewithal to divide the western bloc if Uncle Sam teases the dragon. To give effect to Xi’s successful Europe travel, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is said to have built deep strategic assets in the continent for Beijing.

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