Illustrative photo – Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (pictured on November 14, 2022).
Hong Kong – Europe should cooperate more closely with the United States in creating a common policy towards China. This was stated by Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský in an interview with the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP). The EU must cooperate significantly more with the US than with China, he said.
“This is my request, my contribution to the European debate,” declared Lipavský. The European bloc has long sought a unified position towards China in the face of its growing economic and military power and with regard to its partnership with Moscow at a time of ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine. The EU's approach to China will be one of the topics of the EU summit at the end of June.
China refuses to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but presented its own peace plan, which should lead to an end to the conflict. Czech President Petr Pavel declared last month that Beijing cannot be a peacemaker because it is comfortable with the current situation, the SCMP newspaper recalled.
“China definitely benefits from any weakening of Russia… This opens up more possibilities for China, for example, to strengthen influence in Central Asia,” Lipavský told the South China Morning Post.
“I appreciate China for its stance on nuclear safety… but I don't think it is presenting a realistic plan,” said Lipavský. “That's why I definitely stand behind (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky's (peace) plan,” he added.
The newspaper notes that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe mostly take a more critical stance towards Beijing than some European powers and perceive Washington as a guarantee for their national security.
According to Lipavský, however, EU states increasingly agree on what challenges China poses, even if they do not agree on how to respond to them.
“The whole “Western civilization is asking itself what attitude to take towards China as a rising power. China's vision of the world order certainly does not fully correspond to our vision based on respect for laws,” he added. China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, called 17+1 before the departure of the Baltic states, Lipavský said that the Czech Republic has no immediate plans to leave the group. According to the head of Czech diplomacy, however, the Czech Republic has limited its activities within the group and is “reviewing” its membership.