Washington DC , June 18
The tussle that started between China and the U.S. two years back has taken the shape of a broader showdown with the advanced democracies including Australia and United Kingdom weighing in on the contest against Beijing’s pursuit of technological dominance, discriminatory trade practices, geostrategic assertiveness and domestic repression.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the United Kingdom is now rethinking on China’s Huawei Technologies Co. from its 5G telecommunications network after saying it could participate. Japan too has offered a concession to companies to reshore supply chains from China. Moreover, The European Union has just levied tariffs against Chinese-subsidized companies based outside China.
Today, the foreign ministers of G7 issued a statement on Hong Kong security law, which underscored ‘grave concerns’ regarding Beijing’s decision to impose a national security law on the semi-autonomous region.
“China’s decision is not in conformity with the Hong Kong Basic Law and its international commitments under the principles of the legally binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration,” the foreign ministers of G7 said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China was formed, bringing together legislators from across the political spectrum in a dozen countries: Britain’s Labor and Conservatives, Germany’s Christian Democrats and Greens, and in the US, Democrats and Republicans.
“Chancellor Angela Merkel has been hesitant to walk away from China, in part because Germany needs a hedge if Trump carries through on threatened tariffs on German cars,” Thorsten Benner, director of the Berlin-based Global Public Policy Institute was quoted as saying by WSJ.
However, Merkel has faced pressure her own party to exclude Huawei from German telecom networks.
No country wants to push away China as it is far more important to most of their economies than it is to the US. However, it is given that they don’t want to let China’s assertiveness go unchecked. Even China doesn’t want to disengage, because it needs other countries’ knowledge, products and markets.
Richard McGregor, a China expert at Australia’s Lowy Institute, says China has used access to its market to further its foreign policy since the start of communist rule. “The difference now is that China wields real economic clout,” he wrote. “Other countries didn’t fear Chinese sanctions in the 1950s. They do now.”
“China has to be careful up to a point in imposing sanctions: they don’t want to harm their own economy,” McGregor said. Yet “they are fighting on all fronts and seem to have the sense they can prevail.” (ANI)