December 14, 2022

Don’t Force Europe to Choose Between the United States and China

During his first trip to Europe in March 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reassured Europeans that “the United States won’t force our allies into an ‘us or them’ choice with China.” Although this remains the United States’ stated policy, Washington’s actions have not matched the rhetoric. This is a mistake.

To succeed in a competition with China, the United States should focus on coordinating policies with Europe, rather than insisting that its transatlantic allies adopt identical policies. Instead of unnecessarily injecting friction into the relationship, Washington should develop complementary and coordinated approaches in those areas most central to its competition with China.

The United States’ not-so-secret weapon in the China-U.S. competition is its network of allies and partners. However, to bring Europe along, Washington can’t resort to bullying tactics.

Despite Blinken’s reassurance, the United States has grown more assertive in pressing Europe to adopt its approach to China. On October 7, the United States imposed restrictions on semiconductors to China. While the United States consulted the Netherlands and Japan, they ultimately failed to reach an agreement in which they would all impose identical restrictions prior to Washington introducing restrictions.

Read the full article from The Diplomat.

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