VIDEO. A week of escalating tensions between China and Europe


When it comes to diplomacy, China seems to be playing by its own rules. Whether vis-à-vis France or the European Union, Beijing has increased this week provocations and sanctions against researchers but also European parliamentarians. An attitude that led Paris to summon the Chinese ambassador to France on Tuesday March 23.

On Twitter, the Chinese Embassy in France copiously insulted researcher Antoine Bondaz, of the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS). For having published an analysis on Taiwan, a disputed territory and a thorny subject for Beijing, Antoine Bondaz was called “small strike”, of “mad hyena” or even “ideological troll” in a press release.

“China has rushed into the breach of this new tweet diplomacy, which was democratized by Donald Trump “, analysis Marc Julienne, specialist in Asia at the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri). The sulphurous Chinese ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, already well known for his controversial statements, was summoned Tuesday by the Foreign Ministry to respond in particular to these insults.

On the European front, China reacted strongly to the decision of EU foreign ministers, who on Monday March 22 put four Chinese leaders and an entity from the Xinjiang region (western China) on the sanctions list for human rights violations against the Uyghur minority . In retaliation, Beijing has target ten European personalities, including several elected members of the European Parliament, by prohibiting them from stay in China, Hong Kong and Macao.

“This marks a turning point in their bilateral relations, because by targeting parliamentarians, China is forcing governments [europ√©ens] to take a stand, emphasizes Marc Julienne. And if governments have to take a stand, we think that they will still defend their parliamentarians, their Constitution, their freedom and their rule of law.. In addition to these elected officials, researchers at the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies (Merics) were also blacklisted.

“JI find that worrying since research is precisely a vector of discussion, of dialogue between Europe and China “, deplores Marc Julienne, in reaction to these sanctions and to the insults uttered against the researcher Antoine Bondaz. “It is difficult to see how relations will be able to calm down commercially and politically, especially if China outbid “, considers the specialist.


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