COVID-19 has Cooled the Relationship between Europe and China

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  • Prior to the rise of COVID-19, Europe and China planned to advance a collective strategic and economic relationship in 2020. Coronavirus has completely sidetracked all of those plans.
  • As of right now, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is supposed to welcome a summit of Chinese President Xi Jinping and other European leaders in Leipzig in September.
  • However, many western leaders across Europe have been disturbed by China's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including disinformation campaigns and authoritarian abuses of power regarding its own citizenry.
  • EU Foreign Policy Leader Steven Blockmans: "I think the coronavirus has been a necessary reminder to a lot of EU states that however attractive Chinese money looks, it is also a systemic rival."