Published On: Wed, Jan 13th, 2021

Joe Biden given ‘cold shoulder’ as EU strikes new agreement with China over US | World | News

German MEP Reinhard Bütikofer believes the deal struck between the European Union and Xi Jinping‘s China was “not very helpful” for transatlantic ties with Joe Biden’s incoming US administration taking a tough line against Beijing. It comes as a senior Conservative backbencher told that agreement may leave the bloc isolated from both Washington and London after Europeans leaders gave Mr Biden “the cold shoulder.”  

The German Green Party MEP told Euronews: “The China-EU investment deal certainly was not very helpful when you look at it from the angle of trans-Atlantic cooperation.

“On the one hand, the incoming Biden team signalled very clearly that they hope for early consultations and then Europeans showed them the cold shoulder.”

The EU agreed on the terms of the investment deal with Beijing following a video call between President Xi Jinping and bloc leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) into the EU has increased exponentially over the last few years, primarily directed to the strategic areas of infrastructure and high technology and the deal seeks to strengthen these ties further.

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Beijing has come under fire from the US in recent months, not least for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, but also its aggression in the South China Sea and the introduction of the new security law in Hong Kong. 

The President-elect has promised a tough approach to China after his inauguration on January 20, and now the EU could find itself stranded. 

This is the view of Chair of the Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood, who said the deal was signed “prematurely” and could leave the bloc isolated.

Mr Elwood told “I think this was a mistake by the EU – to pursue this without consulting the US and the UK.

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Asked if a potential free trade deal with the UK could be more lucrative as a result of the EU’s actions, Mr Ellwood believed it was possible if the Government plays its cards right.

He added: “We will have to wait and see how the trade deal pans out, but yes.

“But we need to be more proactive in strengthening our relationship, there is no doubt about that.

“I think it was unwise for the Foreign Secretary [Dominic Raab] to keep Nancy Pelosi waiting for 30 minutes and then drop the call over Christmas.

“That is not how you treat our closest and most important ally.”

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