Интервью с Цзянь Дзюнбо для проекта ЦКЕМИ «Амбивалентность отношений ЕС и КНР в условиях современной трансформации миропорядка»
Центр комплексных европейских и международных исследований НИУ ВШЭ продолжает реализацию проекта «Амбивалентность отношений ЕС и КНР в условиях современной трансформации миропорядка», в рамках которого предусмотрена серия интервью с экспертами в области китайско-европейских отношений. Наш новый эксперт – Цзянь Дзюнбо, младший научный сотрудник Исследовательского центра отношений Китая и ЕС Фуданьского университета.
- Question: Can you tell me about your view on the ambivalence of the Chinese-EU relationships?
The EU is big and complex. When we talk about the relationships between China and the EU, we should keep in mind, that in Europe there are a lot of different groups of interests, which should be considered in the analysis. The Chinese market is very important for the EU economy, especially after these 3 years of pandemics and economic problems triggered by the Ukrainian crisis. The development of ties with China is essential for the European economic growth. Let’s look at the German car industry – it is a powerful group which definitely needs stability in the ChinaEU relations. On the other hand, there countries and groups which tend to see China as a political rival, even “systematic rival”. This view can help European bureaucracy to have a common enemy, which can be seen as one of the instruments to pursue European integration at the moment. Here the question of values arises: many European groups highlight value differences with China and that benefits their arguments about rivalry. Foreign policy is a choice and now European politicians face the choice between cooperation, which is an objective goal for the European economies, and security narratives, which have become a way of the political unification.
- Question: What has the Ukrainian crisis done to this dichotomy?
It has made the situation more difficult, because those different groups inside of the EU now face much more challenges in finding common grounds about questions, including the relations with China. Pragmatic groups such as French politicians try to engage China in the process of the conflict resolution, while others (for example, Germany) tend to have a harsher position. The end of the Ukrainian crisis will reshape the European security system in the future and now we see how different groups try to influence this process.
- Question: And how will this new security system will look like?
That’s a very difficult question. Russia and EU have many potential spheres of cooperation and reengagement of the Russian Federation to the European affaires can be beneficial not only for the European macroregion itself, but for the broader international society and world economy. But sides are showing signs that they can continue the new Cold war for a long period after the hot stage of crisis end. That would be a negative scenario for the European security which can lead to the accumulation of NATO troops at the western borders of Russia and can be a prologue for a broader conflict. Now it’s a question of choice.
- Question: You’ve mentioned France as a country which has quite a practical approach in terms of the European security. How can the relations between China and France help to resolve the conflict?
The main problem of the Ukrainian conflict in my opinion is that nobody understands the indentions of other sides. We understand the Ukrainian points, they are quite clear, but when you look at the Russian goals in this military campaign, at the EU and NATO motives – many questions come to your head. France and China can at least try to help all these parties of the conflict to understand the positions of each other. Then France and China, in my opinion, can bring the broader context of International Community to the conflict resolution process. UN should have a much more active role in peacebuilding, but it has a problem of instruments and legitimacy. France and China can be in between UN approaches and all sides of this conflict.
- Question: Is it easier for China in this context to cooperate with states, not with the integration institutions?
Well, once again, the EU is big, it has many countries with different interests. What is more, all these countries have different groups of interests inside. This is not an easy question. In each situation it depends on the circumstances.
- Question: We hear some concerns from the European governments about the prospects of the Chinese military assistance to Russia. How do you see the China EU interactions on this question?
It’s much more beneficial for everyone if China stays a neutral in the conflict. First of all, China can play a role of intermediary in the negotiations. By providing military assistance to one of the conflict’s sides it will lose an opportunity to hold this role. What is more, such a situation can lead to a much more pressure from the West on both – China and Russia, because it will be seen as a full military blocks competition which can them irrupt into a broader conflict. That can be devastating. For the sake of common peace, it is better for China to remain neutral.
Беседовал стажёр-исследователь ЦКЕМИ Поташев Никита.