Is China using the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage Eurosceptics in Europe like Russia?
China using the COVID-19 to encourage Eurosceptics: The US combined with the European Union serve as a counter-balance to Russia and China.
In recent years, Russia’s strategy has been to divide the alliance between the US and Europe and the EU itself on the premise that a more divided Europe gives more power to Russia.
Now China is using the COVID-19 pandemic to play a similar game in Europe. Recently, China’s government propaganda has been downplaying the existence of European solidarity and emphasizing China’s aid to Europe.
In reality, Europe does suffer from internal divisions – unfair power structures and the afterglow of many brutal rivalries – as any alliance does.
These problems are often exaggerated by strategists in Russia and China in their effort to weaken European unity.
Recently, China has claimed that it has offered more support for Europe’s most devastated countries than has the EU.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán went as far as to say; the Euroskeptic leaders in Italy and Serbia, together with Hungary, have celebrated China as a better partner than Europe when in reality, the levels have been the same. “That doesn’t work because it works.”
Germany and France, the two most powerful EU countries, have sent equivalent levels of medical aid compared to China.
Germany’s early ban on exporting medical supplies was a major mistake, which played into Eurosceptics arguments, has since been reversed. Its power in the EU has increased significantly now that the UK has left.
This means that frustration with German leadership will most likely become an even more popular Eurosceptics talking point.