Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, … concluded 2020 by sending a truly awful geopolitical message — as her commission signed off on an investment treaty between the EU and China.
Over the past year, China has crushed the freedom of Hong Kong, intensified oppression in Xinjiang, killed Indian troops, threatened Taiwan and sanctioned Australia.
By signing a deal with China nonetheless, the EU has signalled that it doesn’t care about all that. As Janka Oertel, director of the Asia programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, puts it: “This is a massive diplomatic win for China.”
What are friends for?
China is outplaying a complacent West.