06:07 GMT +314 December 2019
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    China Poised to Boost Ties With EU Amid Beijing-Washington Trade War – Analyst

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    The current trade row between Washington and Beijing escalated in July, when the US announced 25 percent duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, to which Beijing responded by imposing restrictions on the same amount of US imports.

    A summit named China Meets Europe is due to open in Hamburg on November 29, in a gathering that will feature discussions on developing dialogue between Beijing and Europe.

    Speaking to the German newspaper Die Welt ahead of the Hamburg summit, Chinese Ambassador to Germany Shi Mingde specifically praised an ever-increasing cooperation between Beijing and Berlin as Germany remains China's largest partner in the EU.

    READ MORE: Beijing Lambasts 'Absurd' US Plans to Oust China From WTO Amid Trade War

    In an interview with Sputnik, Vladislav Belov, expert of the Institute of Europe with the Russian Academy of Sciences noted that, in general, "European business is satisfied with the current level of its collaboration with China even though "everything is not so simple in this cooperation."

    "Americans are invisibly present in this field. It is clear that the current trade war between the United States and China objectively creates prospects for rapprochement between the EU and China. Nevertheless, each side has its own vision of a further strategic partnership. In the future, if the conflict between the United States and China continues, the EU and China will strengthen bilateral relations," Belov said.

    At the same time, he warned that this process "may be accompanied by the emergence of certain conflict zones", with each side expected to bargain or determine certain advantages for themselves.

    READ MORE: China, US Resume High-Level Talks to Resolve Trade War — Commerce Ministry

    "The EU is trying to position itself as China's strategic player. As for European business, it is interested in developing relations with China, but the slow-moving EU bureaucracy does not always have time to create favourable conditions for this," Belov pointed out.

    He was echoed by Xu Feibiao, expert of the World Trade Centre of the Chinese Institute of Contemporary International Relations, who referred to Europe and China being under strong pressure from the United States, something that Xu said helps them become full-fledged partners in the fight against trade protectionism.

    "Will Europe take into account the US factor in building cooperation with China? The fact is that the economic strength of the EU is obvious, and Europeans are unlikely to cautiously look back on the US," Xu told Sputnik.

    READ MORE: US-China Trade War Can Strengthen National Unity, Trump Says

    He said that matter of profit will remain the most important factor for the EU to decide on its choice in terms of trading partners.

    "The EU will always follow its own interests. The volume of trade between China and Europe is greater than the one between Europe and the US which is why the China-Europe cooperation has very broad prospects," Xu stressed.

    For her part, Kira Godovanyuk, another Institute of Europe expert, told Sputnik about possible impact of Brexit on "the new China-UK-EU triangle". According to her, it is still unclear whether the UK will be able to independently build its relations with China.

    READ MORE: China Slashes Tariffs on Imported Goods as US Ramps Up Trade War — Scholars

    Godovanyuk suggested that the development of a "golden era" in Britain's relations with China may take place in case of a hard Brexit, something that she said will "allow Britain to lift the restrictions that today restrain its trade with China."

    "If the Brexit deal remains in its current form, prospects for an independent trade policy will be vague because the UK will remain in a single customs union with the EU. The UK will be prevented from pursuing independent trade policy and under these conditions, UK competition with EU members for the Chinese market will remain restricted by the EU law," she concluded. 

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the experts and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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