To think that China is in the process of sabotaging Europe is a strong exaggeration. It would be more accurate to say that China is taking advantage of the weaknesses and disunity of europe.
This disunity has emerged in the middle of the day with the crisis of the new coronavirus, particularly in Italy. So that in a first time, the countries of the european Union refused to accept any emergency assistance to Italy, the chinese government sent in the Italian cities the most infected of the emergency medical equipment, accompanied by chinese doctors.
The image was strong. The help of the rest of the european Union came afterwards, but the damage was done.
And the rest, the european Union won’t accept to finance the measures of economic emergency that require the countries of the south of Europe. As usual, the rich countries of the north, particularly Germany, refuse to pay for the poorer countries, which they consider corrupt and wasteful.
The slowness of the european Union to react feeds the resentment general of the Italians against the Union, they who, a few years ago, again, were among the most ardent supporters of this union.
The alternative chinese
The danger is that China offers a commercial alternative to the european Union and the United States. The trade between european countries and China is still very low.
Few european countries include China among their major clients. The exceptions are the most notable Germany and the United Kingdom.
China sells quite a few the european countries. It is most often their third-largest supplier, sometimes their second. The exception being the Netherlands, of which China is the first supplier. In short, the european countries trade mainly among themselves.
But China has money to invest, in particular in roads, railways, or seaports. She would own 10 % of the total traded shares of european ports.
This money are interested in particular Greece, Italy and the countries of central Europe.
These last have, moreover, formed in 2012 is a curious organization, the European 16 + 1 which brings together the countries of central Europe plus China, and which short-circuits the authority of Brussels.
A veto chinese
Because of the important votes in the european Union require unanimity, and because China is very close to some european governments, China has a de facto veto against european measures that target.
In 2019, the european Commission has called China a ” rival systems of Europe.
A language that is very hard which is seldom used by Europeans, but which illustrates the power of China.
The crisis of the COVID-19 has amplified the distrust against China.
More than the sudden revelation of the dependency on China, or other countries outside europe for some medical supplies, it is the play of propaganda in Beijing, which has shocked european leaders.
Rather than pull together in times of pandemic, the chinese government has not hesitated to embark on a campaign little subtle against the inefficient european. In other words, the chinese government has fired on the ambulance.
This attitude of the Chinese is not ready to be forgotten. It should maintain suspicion toward chinese investments, and encourage Europe to move ahead in the direction of autonomy, as well as the strengthening of relations with the democratic countries.
First scientific power in the world
Laboratory technicians test samples for the COVID-19 in a laboratory of Shenyang, in the northeast of China, 12 February.
For 40 years, the chinese government has invested massively in research and in education. This policy has become very lucrative.
For example, by 2018, 49 % of new patents in the world were attributed to the Chinese.
Among these patents, 56 % were related to electrical engineering or mechanical engineering.
In comparison, Americans only get 7 % of new patents (Science & Engeneering Indicator 2020).
Researchers in the United States publish annually 17 % of all scientific articles in the world. But researchers in China are broadcasting for 21% of the scientific articles, and this share is growing every year.
Furthermore, chinese researchers are publishing more articles in collaboration with researchers in other countries that the american researchers, which gives a good indication of the extent of international scientific cooperation of China.
New graduates with a shovel
China each year eight million new university graduates, of which 1.7 million engineers and scientists. In the United States, they are 742 000.
By 2030, the chinese government even triple the number of university graduates.
Given that the government of Xi Jinping pays special attention to the research, China is likely to become by 2020 the country that spends the most money in this area.
In 2018, China was already the second rank of research expenditures, with 23 % of global spending, while the United States was in first place, with 25% of the expenses.
China moved to the forefront of the research world with the active support and decisive of the chinese military, which controls all the cutting-edge research in China, and then redistributes to the chinese companies the findings.
Abroad to learn
For 40 years, the chinese government sends students to the best universities in the world. In the United States, over a million foreign students, the third is chinese.
Between 2000 and 2015, the research facilities in China increased 18 % per year. They are among the most modern in the world.
The consequences of the new domination scientific chinese are immense.
The chinese companies are going to take advantage of all the new scientific advances made in China, to their foreign competitors.
Chinese military power will be strengthened. Their research system will become more autonomous.
This autonomy is also sought by the government of Xi Jinping.
It attempts to limit the exchange of scientific knowledge in the many areas where China is now ahead.
Russia and China : allies wary
Should we worry about the alliance between China and Russia ?
These two countries have concluded in 2019, a covenant said to be strategic. This means that they will now cooperate more deeply in a few areas, such as those in the aerospace, energy, agriculture and finance.
This alliance also means that Russia will further support China in its construction of the new silk roads and in its politics to keep the world markets as open as possible.
In other words, Russia will help to consolidate and extend the power of China.
In the 1990s, Russia moved closer to China, because the United States did not ship to Russia using expected after the fall of the USSR.
This alliance was the case of China because it could modernize its army and old companies with the Russian technology.
As Russia had already helped China to modernize in the 1950s, a good part of chinese technology is very compatible with the Russian technology.
Russia, for its part, gained currency that she had a particular need.
Over the years, the cooperation between the two countries has increased in some areas. China needs the gas and Russian oil.
But the chinese government, rather than depend too much on Russia, is pursuing a policy of diversification of its suppliers. The cooperation in gas and oil to meet its limits.
The cooperation between the two countries is particularly remarkable in the field of military.
They hold joint military exercises. And Russia has helped modernize the military aviation of china.
Surpass the master
But in this area, and the transfer of technology that the Russian government is ready to do have their limits, and, for the rest, the new search capabilities of China can expect to surpass by a few years the Russian military equipment.
Russia remains for China is a formidable source of raw materials.
The Chinese are investing heavily in mines in Siberia.
But the Russian government maintains a degree of mistrust towards China. It is that Siberia is sparsely populated, especially in comparison to China. And, in the past, the chinese Empire of Genghis Khan stretched over these territories.
The alliance between China and Russia therefore appears more like an alliance of interests in circumstances that as a major trend of international relations.