EU, China Draw Closer in Post-Pandemic World

EU, China Draw Closer in Post-Pandemic World by M. K. Bhadrakumarfor Russia-Insider

The 10th annual Strategic Dialogue between the European Union and China on June 9 can be regarded as marking the resumption of structured big-power diplomacy in the post-Covid-19 setting. It was both a symbolic and substantive event, preparing the ground for the forthcoming EU-Summit.

At the virtual event on June 9, the EU and Chinese sides were represented by the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and the State Councillor and Foreign Affairs Minister of China Wang Yi respectively.

Europe and China, two major poles in the emerging world order have pulled through the devastating pandemic and are re-engaging. They find a world order that is in great transition.

The very fact that the EU-China Summit — and not the G7 Summit that President Trump was keen to host in Washington on June 26-27, as originally planned — will now mark the commencement of the post-Covid-19 era in international politics politics speaks volumes about the world order in transition.

The EU no longer includes Britain; the pandemic has not only ravaged the European economies but has left deep wounds that will take time to heal; Europe stares at a long unpaved road to recovery; the EU itself is badly rattled with the cohesion of the group even more shaky than before.

Surely, the pandemic has weakened China too, but it is better placed than the US, Russia or the EU in being already on the road to recovery. Importantly, it finds itself in a unique position to fuel the recovery of the economies of other big powers.

On the other hand, its own fortunes are heavily dependent on the speed and extent of repair to the global supply chains that takes place in a near term — for which the EU is a crucial partner. The big plus for China is its massive financial reserves, which it can bring to bear not only on its reconstruction and rehabilitation but also to inject new vitality to its global engagements.

Both the EU and China are intensely conscious that the economic repercussions of the pandemic must not be understood as an ordinary problem that macroeconomics can solve or alleviate.

They understand that the world is witnessing a fundamental shift in the very nature of the global economy. For both, succinctly put, the immediate crisis is one of both supply and demand. Supply has been disrupted because companies have closed down or reduced their workloads, and demand has drastically shrunk.

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