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EU’s China policy admitted a bitter failure, including on Tibet

April 22, 2009

(TibetanReview.net, Apr 20, 2009) — An EU report suggests that China had
exploited divisions in the union to escape criticism over a growing
trade deficit and other sensitive issues, including human rights,
reported Reuter Apr 18. The report by the European Council on Foreign
Relations expresses concern that Beijing had actively exploited
divisions within the EU, which was happy to deal with China as though it
were a developing nation rather than the economic and diplomatic
powerhouse it has become.

“The strategy of unconditional engagement is no longer working. The old
approach has been rendered obsolete by China’s power, its skillful
exploitation of European weaknesses and its refusal to become a
democracy,” the report was quoted as saying.

The range of complaints are numerous and serious. The EU is China’s
biggest export market and the latter enjoys a large and growing trade
deficit in his trade tie. That has caused further friction on top of
spats over Tibet, Taiwan and China’s ties with countries like Sudan and
Myanmar, the report says.

The report says: “The EU’s China strategy is based on an anachronistic
belief that China, under the influence of European engagement, will
liberalize its economy, improve the rule of law and democratize its
politics. … Yet ... China’s foreign and domestic policy has evolved in a
way that has paid little heed to European values, and today Beijing
regularly contravenes or even undermines them.”

The report says Beijing had become expert at using splits within the EU,
for example over Tibet, where member states have at times refused to
back each other’s policies on the remote region, run by China since its
troops marched in 1950.
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