The European Union must distance itself from Beijing and play a decisive role in defending human rights

The serious relations between the USA and China cannot fail to have repercussions on international balances, as, in part, is already happening; however, it is necessary to question what are the aspects and the effects and how these will affect Europe normally framed in the western bloc. The old continent, and in particular the European Union, are experiencing a difficult period due to internal tensions, caused by the rigidity of the Brussels institutions, the growth of nationalists and the presence of contrary positions, which culminated with the abandonment of the Kingdom Kingdom. The Union has always been a cornerstone of the Atlantic Alliance, but ties seem to have loosened with the Trump presidency. Even American economic policy, closed in on itself, has forced Brussels to search for other partners, outside of the usual choices. There is no doubt that the US has left a vacuum due to Trump’s isolationist policy, which has underestimated the effects of wanting to focus mainly on domestic politics, leaving out the fallout and the effects of the disengagement in foreign policy, precisely on the overall balance of the American position in the world. Beijing, despite all its contradictions, has been able to cleverly exploit this absence also because of a very large availability of liquidity. The economic crises of the most important market in the world, Europe, have been a great ally for China’s expansionist policy, because they have allowed it to establish outposts within areas where access was previously barred. There is little to say about the need and convenience of entering into business with Beijing, however the awareness of establishing ties with a dictatorship has never been examined too thoroughly just for mere convenience calculations. China has introduced a sort of economic soft power based on the ease of investments which the account will present at the right time; meanwhile it has gained almost uniform silence on the repressions of the Uyghurs, political dissent and failure to respect human rights. Currently the United States is not a reliable partner, however it cannot be compared to China, despite the clumsy and almost self-injurious management of foreign policy, the continuous bad figures of its president and also the lack of protection to which the American people have been subjected for the problem of the pandemic. Now for Europe the problem is not on which side to take sides, despite the inconvenience with the USA, it is clear, precisely as a consequence of the worsening of Chinese behavior, both in the case of Hong Kong, and in the persecution of dissidents abroad, which permanence in the western camp cannot be called into question; rather, for Brussels it is necessary to advance in gaining an increasingly important role as an international actor, capable of criticizing and sanctioning China’s behavior, but not only. Interrupting relations with dictatorial states such as Russia itself, which is already subject to sanctions or Egypt and Turkey, just to name a few, must become a priority, as well as a real political program. The first move must be to stop contacts with Beijing for the development of 5G technology, where it would be better to choose an alternative and internal solution to the Union, precisely because of the peculiarity and importance of communications. Taking an attitude of non-subordination to the United States in military matters is equally important for directly managing crises such as the Libyan crisis, which closely affects the whole continent. To do this, it is necessary to overcome the differences in economic matters and the path of European bonds seems to be an excellent start, to put pressure and even clear choices towards those states, such as those of the former Soviet bloc, which do not seem to have accepted European ideals (on the other hand, if the Union has also remained without the United Kingdom, it may very well give up nations that have only taken without giving), to move away from China, first of all economically, because, in the end, Europe is more essential for Beijing rather than the other way around. Being compliant or pretending nothing about human rights means endorsing these policies and these are choices that sooner or later will backfire on those who made them. The German presidency can be an opportunity to go in this direction: the German authority, especially in this new post-pandemic version, can aggregate the nations really interested, to go towards a common goal and increase the European role in the world panorama also as reference point for the protection and defense of human rights. It does not seem but it is also an economic investment.