Safeguarding its autonomy between the United States and China was already proving difficult for the EU. But as Washington and Brussels seem to be becoming more closely aligned on how to handle Beijing’s rise, Russia and China seem to be cooperating more closely, too.
The United States and China have by far the most visual economic and political influence in Southeast Asia. Yet, the EU is also failing to gain ground in comparison to other “middle powers” like Japan.
Sticking to its demands for “level playing fields” and reciprocity in its relations with China, the EU has entered a slippery slope. It may end up acting more like Beijing rather than persuading it to act more like the EU.