EU and China seal a deal behind Biden’s back

Brussels is accused of putting business interests before democratic values and security realities at a time when the West and Beijing are competing to vaccinate the world against Covid, write Rosa Balfour and Lizza Bomassi

The World Today
Published 5 February 2021 Updated 10 June 2021 4 minute READ

Rosa Balfour

Director, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Europe)

Lizza Bomassi

Deputy Director, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Europe)

After his election as US president, Joe  Biden reiterated his pledge to engage with allies, especially in dealing with an increasingly assertive China. In his inauguration speech, he raised expectations further, promising to ‘repair our alliances’. 

Mood music from both sides of the  Atlantic seemed to herald a honeymoon in which the European Union and the United States would put peace and cooperation at the centre of their collective action, in contrast to the global free-for-all in closing borders and fighting for medical supplies that accompanied the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic recession.

There were few doubts in Washington and European capitals about the hard road ahead, and the shared common ground was reaffirmed emphatically by both sides.

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