A trans-Atlantic awakening to the China challenge

U.S. and European Union officials are increasingly recognizing and working closely to counter threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on October 23 launched the new U.S.-EU Dialogue on China. Their aim is to address risks posed by the CCP through joint efforts to defend shared democratic ideals.

The forum is “a dedicated space to discuss the full range of the challenges Beijing poses to our mutual interests and values,” Pompeo said in an October 23 tweet.

Through the new Dialogue on China, senior officials and experts from the European External Action Service and the U.S. Department of State will hold meetings on themes such as human rights, security and multilateralism.

The China challenge

Pompeo has repeatedly outlined risks posed by the People’s Republic of China’s leaders and called for greater multilateral efforts to address these challenges. He told the Copenhagen Democracy Summit on June 19 that the PRC’s repeated violations of international law are forcing nations to choose between freedom and the CCP’s authoritarian vision.

He added that the CCP has answered the international community’s goodwill with aggressive conduct, including:

European leaders also are raising concerns about CCP misconduct. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark and former secretary general of NATO, told the Copenhagen Summit that the CCP’s tactics often seek to divide democratic nations.

“Shouldn’t the world’s democracies form a united front, an alliance of democracies that can stand up against the autocracies, protect each other, and promote freedom and prosperity?” he said.

Pompeo told the German Marshall Fund’s Brussels Forum on June 25 that European nations are coming to a greater understanding of the significant risks posed by the CCP’s behavior.

“We have to work together to continue the trans-Atlantic awakening to the China challenge in the interest of preserving our free societies, our prosperity and our future,” Pompeo said. “We’ll defend these values together.”