Berlin/Beijing : German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued a shocking statement that “The European Union, on the China policy should be unified, else China would divide the European countries”. China has reacted sharply and the Chinese foreign ministry has demanded a clarification on the statement from German foreign minister. While Europe faces multiple internal challenges, China confirmed their support for the European Union.
Since few months the trade and investment relations between China and Europe has been strained. Recent statement of Gabriel’s is expected to further worsen the situation. Gabriel had said that if the European Union fails to form a unified China Policy, then China would be successful in breaking the European Union. Currently apart from the members countries of the European Union, 16 other countries within Europe that have formed an independent group against China. Gabriel expressed his anguish that on the China policy the European countries always present themselves as 16 plus 1. Gabriel also referred to South China sea judgment to highlight China’s intervention in Europe.
Some of the European countries had refused to support the International Court of Justice’s judgement on the South China Sea issue. Greece, a member of European Union refrained from supporting the judgement anticipating impact of China’s investment in Greece. Hence the European Union were unable to put the enough pressure on China. Gabriel also raised his concern on China’s intensions with the ambitious “New Silk Road” project.
Gabriel claimed that adopting a unified China policy, is the only way to respond to China. Emphasizing on the need for natural partnership of Europe with China, he suggested that European Union should openly state their demands with China. If China insists on having European policy towards itself as per their own demands, the European Union must respond with a unified policy of “One Europe”.
China has expressed dismay over the German foreign minister’s comment of “attempt to divide us”. The Chinese foreign minister said that they were shocked by Gabriel’s remarks and that China has always supported the European Union. The Chinese foreign minister spoke person, Hua Chunying challenged name any country that has supported the European Union on this issue.