“China has a global ambition,” European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell commented after an online conference with Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi. “I don’t think that China is playing a role that can threaten the world peace.”
Borrell’s “realistic” outlook toward Beijing elicited some scrutiny following widespread criticism of China’s control over Hong Kong and COVID-19 disinformation throughout the European Union. China’s “global ambition” is cause of concern for the United States and some of Beijing’s neighbors, including India and Japan, due to China’s military prowess in the Himalayas and the South China Sea.
In fact, after Beijing’s development of overseas miliary bases and intelligence collection locations, American national security adviser John Rood said that China is “promoting an authoritarian model, one that doesn’t respect the sovereignty of others.”
Rood’s comments echo the European Union’s decision to refer to China as a “systemic rival” last year. This designation, in addition to Hong Kong and human rights, were reportedly part of the “open and frank” conversation between Borrell and Wang.
Afterward, Borrell reiterated his belief that Beijing is not a security threat. “They committed once again that they want to be present in the world and to play a global role,” Borrell reported. “But they don’t have military ambitions, and they don’t want to use the force to participate in military conflicts.”
Read the full report here: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/09/china-is-not-a-military-threat-eu-top-diplomat-says-309257