Eurooppa-foorumi 27.8.2021 Europe and China – A Challenging Relationship

Eurooppa-foorumi 27.8.2021 Europe and China – A Challenging Relationship

welcome back ladies and gentlemen it’s ten past two not five past four i apologize for the wrong information um we continue this part in english gentlemen thank you this part in english and it’s about europe and china a challenging relationship we have four panelists here and one from london let me introduce all of them to you first of all i have laure baltimore here to my left professor east asian studies and then we have uh juha abuari professor international relations hannah smith research director hybrid center in finland and then mikhail matlin professor international relations and then via videolink from london chatham house dr ug and i apologize if i don’t pronounce it correctly welcome do you hear us yes i hear very well and i think you pronounced my name perfectly thank you so much susanna delighted to be here okay thank you thank you to you too this will be interesting so china and europe a challenging relationship we hear more about challenges every day and usually well if you’re in brussels it’s about 5g it’s about technology it’s about this but it’s tough one tough bone for us westerners it’s our biggest trading partner as china has opened its economy and trade for us you have chinese not you but chinese have quietly strategically placed themselves more and more into our continent by buying and investing now except a on china’s policy i think is africa europe lost east africa a while ago a long time ago by demanding african countries develop development in in democracy and rule of law it’s one of those core issues that we europeans like to export chinese don’t care as much as they themselves don’t share our values as we see in europe now my first question is if we lost nokia and ericsson as technology giants and leadership in 5g phone technology how can we continue with a country now when i bet all of us carry a phone or computer device made in china we made this technology in europe and now we lost it who wants to tell me how in the world we lost this i have three professors here and one in london okay motley i could pick up pick up the gauntlet and start uh well uh first of all i i don’t know sort of uh if we lost really uh anything i mean uh in in many ways we are a stagnating continent getting older we haven’t put a huge amount of uh investment into research and development and so on and and europe has been very good at regulating and setting standards as we all know but we have in the world today in terms of technology basically two ecosystems one of them built in silicon valley and the other one built in china and china has built that uh very meticulously very carefully uh over over the past decades very smart i would say uh keeping up keeping sort of high enough barriers uh in order to to be able to develop a domestic technology ecosystem and so i mean now we were all sort of quote-unquote panicking because we realize how far we have fallen behind in in many areas but it’s not necessarily sort of because of china it’s because of what we ourselves have done and we got fat and content yeah yeah well uh you mentioned just if i can continue just briefly i mean you mentioned this um uh investment and and uh and and uh buying up and so on but in many ways i mean what china and or chinese companies as you say uh are doing in europe is is is just a natural extension of the fact that china is a big economy these days and if you just look at the stock of of the capital investment china is not huge for most countries in europe china is not even among the biggest investors so we’re paying attention to it basically because we don’t understand china we’re fearful of china right now because we lack this understanding we keep talking about china but we we breed these cliches about china basically um all the time and we don’t really uh sort of see uh always the big picture which is often that uh our biggest investors are from other european countries or or the united states and china might be number maybe 14 or something in a given country your country well as one panelist uh now last discussion uh said a thousand years in china is not a long time hannah smith yes well if i may slightly challenge this uh starting point in the way that first of all there was lots of ifs if we lose this and that and then the second one is the big question are we in fact behind in the way that there is the potential we are afraid of it there is a lot of development but i think the big picture is a little bit more nuanced in the way that even if china is big it has a lot of money it’s been very active sometimes even aggressive and shows much more there are also limits to its capabilities and specifically i think from the previous panel when i was listening to it one big aspect was international cooperation and here of course if european union works together with united states for example or other entities even india in this case which quite often is in fact uh in competition with china then suddenly the picture starts looking quite different and since i’m quite odd one out in this panel in the premises that actually my specialization is russia so i could also bring russia into the picture in the way that specifically when it comes to this technological side russia is leaning towards the west towards europe also in cooperation-wise there is a certain developments uh etc so i would actually challenge you on the the starting point of the question and and definitely put the emphasis on the ifs in the way that there is a lot of potential partners european uh union european countries can do i’m not 100 sure that we are so behind on the technological thing uh and that china is uh alone quite a lot in this one from from my perspective and we don’t know exactly but this is a good question why are we so afraid um and here again if i quickly may from the russia researcher perspective this is a similar discussion that we have had relating to russia there is something odd there is a fearful or kind of feeling a threat situational awareness is not united um specifically in europe this is we are coming to it interestingly in russia case european union is much closer than almost ever before when it comes to the russia analysis the threat from russia and so on but china is now the rising star on this dividing situation of awareness and that’s an important fact that we should pay attention to yeah i i’d also like to challenge the um the notion that china doesn’t care if it takes a thousand years to my mind china is the most impatient country in the world today they have all these resources they have accumulated great feats yet they do not get the type of recognition internationally that they desire and that makes them very irritated and impatient also there are many developments in china that sort of are coming to a head um and and we we’re stood at a cusp of of something new and obviously the the pandemic and the trade war which within our states has sort of accelerated some of these these developments and even even the cliche of you know what is the relevance of the french revolution that discussions was about 1968 not the original french revolution so there’s also some myths and and so the distorted views of about china and i think it it would make a lot more sense to instead of take a clear clear look at what’s going on if you bear with me doctor you will take the last comment here and then you can comment on all of them and and give us your view yes sure next one is lauri paltema yes thank you i have to agree with everybody else already here that the picture is much more complex than this that china is rising and we can do nothing but if we take this case of of 5g now because it tells us something about how china is working and also the differences of our systems we here used to rely on 4g and that’s basically because our system companies were running on on market principles they were barely making profit on 4g while china was already developing 5g not on marketplaces but government was putting lots of investment and money on developing it because it wanted to become the first country to basically break it into the 5g and it did so but that was based not on the magic market logic like here in the west but on logic of the government subsidized markets or government controlled markets like in china and this is what the chinese can do on any specific one technology i would argue they can do this but they cannot do it on every technology all the time so we are now alarmed by the rise here in finland especially because of nokia and obviously this comes very close to home but i would be less alarmed by the idea that we will go wholesale into chinese technology well the chinese manufacture grade 5g but they manufacture it based on with american technology so basically they are also very dependent on on west on this and it’s not really their technology it is shared international technology in many ways and this also needs to be you know considered when we talk about the chinese technological leaders if it is much more fragile and much more complex than just that they come and take over our well now i give you the floor doctor you it’ll be interesting to hear what you say sure um i pretty much agree with everyone said in here but i think we shouldn’t really take a binary approach when they come to discuss with china because by all means that whatever the slice of china we talked about in here and china is not going to go away i think if we’re speaking about fear it comes from that human nature of unknown and obviously this is the country run by the world’s largest political party with 95 million party members and one parties system which have never happened in the world and to lead the world’s second largest economy so it’s a very funny structure but that has also come into the moment of that fear the fear of china itself would not be able to firstly handle the economy very well and secondly the fear that perhaps the rest of world will leave china in isolation i mean i’m pretty sure that many of you have heard a sentence that um the assessment from the chinese city leadership suggesting that the world is changing therefore the east is rise and the westerns decline but that is only the first half of the story and second half which has not really been widely covered reported in western media it’s actually that china facing unprecedented challenge which have not been seen in the last 100 years so clearly the senior leadership is extremely worried about firstly its internal popularity because of the economic slowdown because of the pandemic and secondly it is also fear that itself being isolated the rest of the world i mean let’s just to be friends china’s economic success in the past 40 years abused on a first round of economic globalization precisely because china maintained a relatively peaceful relationship with the west not the other way around so if china decided to go to a different path and the weather itself can continue to sustain its economic growth and i have a serious questions in here and secondly that after the population already enjoyed the economic benefit that they have in the past of years if they continue to run this rather erratic foreign policy with the west it is not very helpful for its own population for its own well-being of the population so i think it’s a permanent contradiction in here on the one hand that china does in the west in order to help facilitate its own economic development whereas on the other hand running this a very much assertive and isolated foreign policy so we’re in that really funny dilemma and i still really didn’t see whether president xi would turn the corner at some point so that’s one thing now secondly what i want to say in here is in terms of europe i think what we should be aware that after this pandemic and china itself will scale back diplomatically so less focus will give to europe but much of the focus were given to the asia-pacific economies and precisely for china’s own economic development and also in the past few years that most of the state capital investment in europe are not not so much successful but rather created a reputational damage for china itself so it perhaps would be worthwhile to have a rethink on this eu and china had three meetings just recently and they were not very successful when it came to how do we deal with each other meaning um trade eu has these value-based demands and of course china never has taken them too well now if we are afraid if we are a little bit behind we lost the leadership to china in technology and we need it now in in terms of climate change in terms of our energy efficiency in terms of intelligence communications everywhere how do we do that is there any possibility for europe to get back on the lead is it necessary yes it is possible let’s start from from uh that perspective in the way that um if we just now looking at the european union uh on its own and not necessarily in connection uh with the with its partners and united states and so on so uh in that way i think already the first panel was saying you know if we’re talking about the eu as a economic power so then there’s always possibilities relating to that it depends on where the priorities are put where the money is put how much from mikko’s point of view this uh research uh and innovation uh arena gets uh attention etc so there is a lot a lot of things to be done but the interesting thing and i would like to pick up the points that was raised also here is that the premises that they managed to look so powerful and therefore we get kind of a bit scared then that already affects and this is something then what we do and the hybrid coe is also kind of what types of a means they are trying to influence and interfere in our internal space so that we would make wrong decisions and this one the authorian regimes whether it is china or russia are actually quite good they managed to use information and other tools to kind of play with our minds and effect to it that we think that they are very powerful so we just heard in the way that there are internal problems in orthodox regimes in china but also in russia so to break the notion that these are almighty and authorian regimes are so powerful that’s kind of a first step and then the second step is uh to put the money there where we see uh that there is a need for it and not just believe that without doing things happen uh you already you had your hand up and yeah i mean if europe wants to take the lead in technology in other fields we need to invest in that stuff and in finland we have a so-called minister of science who historically cuts once again from the academy of finland rather than putting significant investments into research and technology development um that’s why we’re falling many european countries have been doing the same thing they haven’t been investing in their future um if we want to take a lead we need to invest it’s very simple so we got fat and content we got lean and ideological i have another point that uh just to to add on what um you have what i was saying um yeah i mean just not many years ago uh we were putting in about close to four percent of our gdp in into research and investment at the time when china was putting in one percent and now china is putting in i think more than we are and and the trends are going in different directions so to me it’s fairly simple we’re we’re not investing in our future and china is investing our future but my actual point was to get back to your eu china thing is that i can understand to some extent why why why you can be very confused in beijing because we’re sending very mixed messages all the time not just from the eu and the member states from the united states uh seemingly whatever china does seem seen from beijing’s point of view is wrong we want china to be an a responsible stakeholder to to pick up part of the burden and so on but of course we want that to happen on our terms for the longest period of time uh eu china was about trade and commercial relations yeah a little bit of values but i mean the message that china was sending was that these values are not really important uh when when it comes to to the real business so to speak uh so you could be mistaken for not taking mysteriously because even if the commission was saying values in some member states but there were always another uh batch of or many members so basically saying no it’s business business as usual and so on and and and to take just this or to get back to this investment thing uh just a few years ago we’re basically welcoming chinese investments in europe in a lot of places hoping that the chinese would come and invest more and now when they did what happens we slam the door shut and say no don’t come here we’re coming here uh you’re threatening you’re trying to to take our best companies zone i’m not saying either way is right or wrong but we have gone from one end of the spectrum which was in some to some extent extreme not seeing any kind of security issues just five six years ago in chinese investments to the other extreme basically of seeing only problems in that and to my mind i mean the the probably uh more balance to you would be appropriate i mean certainly there are issues that we need to pay attention to there are certainly investments that should be restricted or at least be screened or be followed up but there are not every single investment is is necessarily problematic there are also sort of sound commercially based investment decisions so let’s not get huawei in close the borders ain’t the solution they are spying anyway it’s much more complex than that and you have to be more discerning and develop the tools for that yes baltimore yeah i just have to be up from that that then in more general sense that this this change that that make was describing few years back nobody was seeing china as a threat at least in european foreign policy making now it seems that everybody regards that there is a china threat and actually fundamentals haven’t really much changed what changed was that america happened to have a president who uh brought this issue to the fore and with the very undiplomatic manner of course we are talking about trump and his government and and his administration which really brought the china threat to the core of american foreign policy in a very uh it’s it’s curious that the obama administration had exactly the same reading of what was happening in china but it worried it very differently its policies then came trump and it outright started to yell there is a china threat everybody has to now act accordingly and europe has caught on it has basically followed the queue slowly but now it is it’s picking up yes there is a china threat i’m i’m calling for more level-headed uh and and clear-headed approach to china yes there are challenges china is not a a saint in invasive international politics let alone in since domestic policies nevertheless we must not get agitated and and let the fear take over when we talk about china china is an a rational uh big international selfish actor and and and we have to really base our own analysis on china on on objective things and not irrational fear that china is taking over and that’s unfortunately what it has been happening also in in in european policy making following too much the american lead here talk to you yeah um just some two points on this um i mean the country where i chose to reside in uk for example and also have a very similar debate and earlier this year when uk government issued the integrated review on strategy and china it’s featured quite large sections so obviously on the one hand would portray china as being trading partner but then on the other hand as a security threat and security challenge um for any medium-sized country this is going to be the most difficult question where exactly to place china on which spectrum either on the spectrum of being a total threat or on the spectrum that being a partner under certain elements that they could work with china but perhaps on other elements that um the countries should criticize china’s behavior so i think it’s a mix back in here but when they come to the issues on technology or technology um uh advantage or whatever i mean china is not exactly now leading the so-called global technology called the spectrum and what we have seen here is that china using the latest 14 five years plan the latest economic blueprint that using technology and innovation a self-driven technology innovation as a national investment strategy it is no longer just industrial policy in itself but cross-cutting all different spectrums that being a national investment plan and encourage any individual any chinese individual who have worked abroad in the high-tech sector to go back to those countries and being rewarded personally as well it doesn’t sound very communist or socialist to me at all but surely it shows that how much leadership is very much concerned itself so lagged behind in terms of competing with united states and the european union so i think europe should should not really be too fearful um in terms of china’s competition because china is also playing a catching up stage rather than just taking the lead in this case well for some reason globally china is a big question mark for everybody you said that after this pandemic china will turn inwards more and be a bigger player in in its own neighborhood uh the pacific also it’s a geopolitical superpower if we talk about those five ten-year terms so like a plan in in the chinese government’s mind or the leadership of the party what do you think they want from europe from us in partnership or trade or sure i mean quite simple i think two things the the china wanted or depends on which side of china we’re talking about we’re talking about the central government in beijing that firstly china wanted to have the recognition the recognition that china is a proper international player it’s not been seen as some kind of like a strange creature as being outlier out of this current international system so china wants to have the recognition now what second thing that china wanted is to have continue to have the european investment inside china not the other way around but we’ll keep those money inside china for china’s own benefit so the european investment continuously coming to china this is two things and perhaps the third thing is when it comes to the transnational issues on climate change issues even um building infrastructure across the world you know while talking about the belgian road initiative the g7 put forward to the so-called b3w i mean those two things could be somehow jointly to work together so i think that’s the three things that china wanted from europe the weather europe whether you’re wanting to offer that’s another thing and also this largely depends on china’s own behavior towards european countries and also towards its own neighbors because surely we have to admit that there are some diplomatic mistakes and china has made in the past and make china being rather um and welcoming across many parts of the world so we have to admit that there are mistakes as we made in the past excellent points can we work on that what china wants do we meet somewhere there hannah smith i would like to pick pick up on the point on this u.s lead on the policy and also the what type of a threat china is it’s true that you as is the one who’s loudest on this one and european uh approach or eu’s approach has always been even when it comes to if you compare now u.s approach to russia it’s the loudest and definitely most kind of a radical but there is uh a in european union also i think we heard already from foreign minister harvest of speech the competitor uh partner and then systemic rival and the problem here is the systemic rivalry this is the orthodorian regime versus the democracy and the auditorium regimes and china here feels a threat from the democracy and quite often the other tharian regimes always feel that attack is the best defense so i would actually say that the reason why the systemic rivalry aspect has brought china more to the threat side from the european union is based on their own activity and action and that has started to increase in kind of questionable means inside of the european union also and little by little if this trend continues the systemic rivalry understanding will increase so i would definitely say that there is a much more nuanced and not only u.s led kind of change in the eu’s policy and the change is due to the fact that china has slightly changed its own policy it has felt that it doesn’t get what it wants and starts using these questionable means a little bit the internal politics the regime survival feeling is behind it so importance is definitely to understand and analyze also the internal dynamics in china because from that we can also see how it will be in the world politics yes to follow on this i mean we have we have tried when i said we i mean uh uh the udm commission has tried to to sort of have its cake and eat it sort of uh and define uh the relationship now redefine the relationship as as being all of these things is it’s about uh uh collaboration or or uh uh china is a companion in some areas of policy and it’s a com it’s a competitor it’s it it might be a rival in some value uh based issues and it’s very reflective of how we’re trying to to sort of uh do our china thing but it also means the situation is very different if compared to for example uh the situation between western europe and and and what what we had uh during the cold war uh with the soviet union because there was an overarching military threat picture at the time that was relatively widely shared on policymakers at the time we don’t see that in in eu today it’s really hard to get a consensus on on china at the very least there’s always one or two member states that that seems to always or are always um of a different opinion on almost any issue so and and then if you bring it to the transatlantic uh dimension uh even harder so there is a a fairly strong bipartisan consensus in in in washington these days on china which were the rare issues where actually democrats and republicans agree these days but how do you get that even close to something resembling that kind of shared picture in the eu where we have very different takes on china even today even though as han smith was saying uh we we do see more of this this uh idea of um of a systemic rival also gaining ground in in europe but take for example germany we still have a lot of uh voices that are on the other side on this issue uh the same goes for many other uh big member states as well so very difficult to get any plus yeah i mean for the past let’s say 40 years china has been striving towards world multi-polarization and china is a poll in a multi-polar world the question is is the european union a whole in a multipolar world of course it depends on which lenses you look at the world with if we look at civilian power or soft power europe is a is a pole if we look at in the economy and you calculate the european union as a one singular unit obviously the european union is a major poll when it comes to international politics um not so much um and if you look at military power not at all and for a long time from the chinese viewpoint you know europe didn’t matter we are the european aircraft carriers in east asia where are they you can’t see them why would we care um we make business with individual countries they’re much smaller than we are you know we can create beneficial contacts make good business it’s depends on how you how you view the world and the united states and china they view the world in terms of military power as well um due to europe’s history we don’t want to look at the world in those terms so much anymore but i think that’s sort of part of the equation as well but since we want to focus on civilian power and values we should emphasize that and you know push that through through our economy and on our strength in that regard but once again that requires investment in the future and not this mentality of the last one switching off the lights well there is on old chinese saying that when the barbarians are fighting each other then china is safe and i think that applies even today in a sense that that i i think the in last panel it was uh there was a comment that that the china is trying to divide europe and then china is trying to divide europe and america and i think basically this is true although china is not doing it that openly of course but then on the other hand it is a very uh real politic actor in in in in world politics and it is in in many ways like the soviet union because it is a communist country and they have a very uh distinct view on on world politics and and and and this is based on very realistic reading uh even a niallist uh reading on on what word politics is about so so china is really playing foreign relations with with many cards not only one card so so we have to remember that and it also has resources to act on on tremendously many fronts at the same time doing at the same time media campaigns social media campaigns uh engaging in people’s people-to-people diplomacy and then classical diplomacy and even so of force if necessary especially in its own region so we have to remember this that it is a very uh skillful and foreign policy actor which has capabilities that that even can surprise us what happened during the the coroner crisis in the beginning china created a worldwide campaign of of corona 8 that it has never done before and it carried out it mostly through its its own nationals already in places in in other countries and this is i think one thing that that really surprised many and at least surprised me how efficiently it could run a global campaign for its own benefit by mobilizing its its own nationals abroad something that the foreign country a western country never could do it’s very interesting you mentioned this uh there are similarities between china and russia for europe russia has always been a military threat china is far away but it can be i assume a military threat in the neighborhood it has been building its military capacity down to the the pacific southern pacific australia has been very nervous about the uh during the the past months um there’s the problems with hong kong taiwan now can this become european problem as well shake up the geopolitical balance matlin i would actually like to continue what what lara was saying i mean this uh there’s an old chinese saying um uh there are a lot of old chinese sayings and uh i i spent um um a couple of days once uh years ago uh pondering about these old chinese sayings because it bugged me as somebody who’s been reading chinese for a long time that didn’t always know where they come from this old surprised old chinese saints and interesting what what happened was that a lot of the old chinese supposedly all chinese sayings when you look at where they come from the story went quite similar in many cases so there was this midwestern journalist in the 1920s who went to shanghai and he was hanging around in bars he heard something which he kind of misinterpreted and he came back and he wrote about it in you know san jose something some local paper then was picked up by a big paper on the east coast and then we had an old chinese saying my point being here that you know china has fascinated us in europe uh and in the united states since at least the 18th century we have had bouts of this fascination and and from romanticism we come to the fear side of this big utter there out there that we don’t quite understand and i i see it as a continuation today i mean we we are mostly projecting our own fears and hopes and so on on on china china goes about its own business and develops in its own way but most of what happens what we see here in the debate really is more reflection of how we are our fears about our own uh uncertain future for example or something and we project it on to china and that’s we have a tradition of hundreds of years of doing this in the case of china so there are lots of chinese sayings hannah smith um i want to ask you about this so we go back to that those fears spying for example goes to that huawei negotiations between europe and and china as a research head of a hybrid center but is it real uh have we been exaggerating it the fear everybody spies in the world whether it’s to satellites or phone lines or web or no it is uh it is a real thing and the interesting thing i suppose uh the change so to speak uh from the everybody’s spies and has always been spying and even the friends by uh to each other etc etc but now the question here is that for what uh the information is used and what kind of an information has been been spied um and that that’s kind of um that’s the biggest threat in the way that it starts to be much more kind of personalized getting into a system that should be kind of secured undermining the democratic society’s safety feeling using that in its own advantage etc so there are elements which we kind of thought that had disappeared we meaning the democratic states and and uh european union and so on also in u.s and then we realized that they haven’t and they come back in a modern age with the modern tools uh and with the new types of a kind of um utilization and that’s what is a scary bit a bit that we don’t know exactly how badly they can hit where they can undermine us or even destabilize the societies for someone else’s advantage so we are talking about potential not necessarily something that has materialized but i think today’s uh world we need to much more concentrate on the kind of foresight the potential than kind of looking how it was and compared to that okay here’s are the chinese any worse as spies as we are the westerners i think they are uh more centralized controlled and they are building the system very very differently than what the western countries are doing and they have the advantage that they are from the authorian states and now yes i did talk about arthurian states having weaknesses but here they have the advantage of the fact that it can be state controlled state managed financed kind of much better and bigger than in the western case because we do have some rules that need to be obeyed there are certain ways this is done so much more kind of uh focused and concentrated and not so kind of wide and the preparation aspects are quite different and so on yes um well china has been normalizing its its uh so-called cyber intelligence uh activities it used to be mainly industrial espionage but in the past let’s say five years china has uh or xi jinping has commanded that if we just keep spying on others technology we can never take the lead um instead china has normalized itself and started to spy on governments just like everybody else so china is becoming more normal in this sense as well when it comes to the cyber realm we’re sort of all really worried oh what chinese are spying on us china is much more vulnerable in terms of cyber attacks and cyber espionage than than let’s say finns are china has the most effective internet control system in the world and they have a one one party system essentially that controls uh all communications and has to have strict control of all network communication this also means that the individuals cyber security is very weak and that means that there’s no culture of cyber security in china so individuals companies they’re all in in this sort of jungle where the communist party can kind of step in that makes it very vulnerable for outside attacks as well and the baseline technology is also american so if we talk about back doors there’s all sorts of back doors in china on the other hand we’re so afraid of backdrops in huawei if you open up any consumer electronics these days they will have components from china from america from all sorts of places um the way they’re constructed is changed and it’s very international so once again it’s the sort of image that’s been created for political purposes and american economic interests also baltimore anything to i no uh doctor i i give you the last um comment here um you mentioned that recognition that chinese are looking for recognition as a big power superpower global player as were the russians when when putin started to to build up russia as a global player now how do you think china can get that or what the chinese leaders government expect from us europeans so that they are they would be sort of satisfied because three eu china summits went pretty much belly up last year and i suspect one of the reasons was that the lack of recognition instead of seeing them as interest spies please yeah i mean there’s no really easy solution here i think this whole notion of seeking recognition really driven from back to the old days back to the 1970s china returned to the republic of china the people’s republic of china prc returned to the u.n security council and considered itself as re-emerged back to the center of the world stage and lately when china joined wto back to 2001 and then that really created a wave that china itself returned to the center of the global affairs and also plus because of that economic strength and especially right after the global financial crisis therefore both the elites and also wider public of china and hoping that its own contribution its own economic contribution to the world should be rightfully recognized and therefore with perhaps the media especially the western major media would be more lenient towards china in terms of its behaviors in terms of diplomatic measures so this is what china was hoping to get i mean if we’re talking about information if we’re talking about spy i mean i’m not really specialist on any of the subject at all and what i do know is that when it comes to selecting information reporting the information back home and that seems to be the one thing that the chinese media is very good at and they really want to show a picture to its own population that china will be really widely respected i mean give a very classic example back to 2015 when the chinese president xi jinping visited uk and apparently the uk government has rolled up the red carpet and bri she’s been received by the queen um it actually really does the show not to the world audience but actually for the domestic audience at home to show that how confident china it is and show how confident that chinese leadership it is so i think that’s many things that chinese diplomacy has been doing or foreign policy agenda it is really to serve the domestic audience that domestic audience very much keen to be seen itself as being a center of the world so i think that’s really sometimes when it comes to disinformation when it comes to the pandemic narrative and even in on this origin of the covet thing this discussion it is about china seeking itself as being recognized as being a rightful member of international society thank you for that last comment um we are running out of time i’m asking the audience is there anybody raising a hand and wishes to ask any of the panelists something do i see a hand anywhere yes there and if you have a specific question to one of the panelists please do so from the british embassy thank you very much for this excellent um uh debates a question um possibly for hannah smith and dr you how do you see the china russia relationship currently and how do you see this going forward hannah smith and then dr yes thank you very much for the question and i’m making a little announcement in in the way that or advert that we are actually the hybrid coe now about to launch uh a project which is comparing russia and china because this is one of those themes that is actually very very important so looking at their cooperation but also the differences uh weaknesses capabilities etc and to answer the question shortly uh from from this perspective is that it is very troubled i would say because there are exactly these things that they’re leaning um towards each other when it comes to challenging the west the democracy and this is what is the notch here uh is that we do have an ideological battle going on between outer thorns and and democracies and here russia and china find themselves but then the picture becomes much more nuanced there are problems relating to central asia on the digital domain they they have uh big questions also when it comes to the arctic perhaps the list could go on so um in that way russia fears china but also uh kind of needs it for its cooperation about this regime survival and i would say that china has a little bit the similarities not necessarily a fear but annoyance relating to russia understanding that also russia can play china but currently they try as other therian regimes always look very powerful and there is no trouble in their cooperation so i think that’s what they want us to believe but then we need to look at being below the surface and we find quite interesting stuff thank you yeah just to add i mean similarly that china recognized russia on the diplomatic prestige because russia want to be being recognized that’s one thing but when it comes to substantial collaboration between the two countries i think we can find very little i mean just give very close example on the belton road initiative since it launched in the past seven years um even the russian government suggested that like to coordinate on this initiative but never really happened anything with a substantial project because clearly russia aware that if china to allow china entering in the backyard the so-called central asia and china would play a much bigger economic influence and that would somehow undermine russia’s influence within the region so russia would be very cautious when they come to cooperate with china i think and also secondly i think the two countries see the world very differently the whole world they hold very different world view for example for china it’s about putting itself in the center of the international stage but engage with the world economically using its economic means to achieve political influence where however for russia it’s more about the traditional ways of territorial conquest is all more about taking a step in the mena region and to to show that russia remains relevant so i think it’s a different means to trade to achieve different ends i think the two countries are very different and putting one word that two countries relations is perhaps at its best at it currently but it probably won’t go getting closer any further precisely for the reasons which were outlined no then i thank you dr eugene it was really interesting to hear your voice and and ideas and and thoughts from london and of course our panelist professor baltimore warrior matlin and hannah smith from hybrid center
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Eurooppa-foorumi 27.8.2021 Europe and China - A Challenging Relationship

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