Europe’s China policy challenge

May 24, 2018: German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing
Germany, under Chancellor Angela Merkel (L), sees China as both a partner and a competitor. Can it constructively engage Beijing and President Xi Jinping? (source: dpa)
  • The trade war has revealed China’s serious economic vulnerabilities
  • China is turning to a “soft” foreign policy to soften the blow
  • Europe has a chance to engage China and steer it toward more reform

Though the United States and China declared a “cease-fire” in their trade war at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires last December, the tug-of-war between the two global powers is by no means over. The announcement did, however, mark an important adjustment in China’s foreign policy. Despite the two countries putting forth very different accounts of the talks between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping, it is clear that President Xi made significant concessions to his rival. Beijing promised to find solutions to several key sticking points, such as forced technology transfer and intellectual property (IP) rights violations, within three months.

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