One of the biggest casualties of the COVID-19 Pandemic has been the creditworthiness and integrity of intergovernmental organisations that have failed to stand up against China over its mishandling of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and one of such organisations losing credibility is the European Union.
The European Union has been drawing flak for pandering to Beijing and toning down its criticism of the latter at its beck and call. The EU is once again under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, as it has allowed China to censor a “friendship letter” co-authored and co-signed by all European Union Ambassadors to China.
The opinion piece on the Coronavirus Pandemic described as a “friendship letter” by the European Union was meant to celebrate the intergovernmental body’s 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Beijing. In a meek reference to the origins of the pandemic in China., it mentioned, “The outbreak of the coronavirus in China and its subsequent spread to the rest of the world over the past three months, has meant that our pre-existing plans have been temporarily side-tracked.”
But Beijing’s State-run media didn’t like it and China’s daily published the letter, removing this paragraph about the Coronavirus Pandemic, thereby quoting the European Union selectively. But the EU didn’t protest and allowed China to impose its will by censoring parts of the letter.
Not only did the European Union fail to object, but it also consented to Chinese censorship and manipulation. Battu Henriksson, a European Union spokesperson said, “EU diplomats decided to proceed with the publication with considerable reluctance.”
This comes only days after the European Union watered down a report about Beijing’s State-backed “disinformation campaign”, fearing that the Dragon would retaliate by withholding medical supplies.
After the EU wrote a scathing report about China’s “disinformation campaign”, Beijing’s diplomats had intervened and pressurised EU officials into toning down parts of the report that were critical of China.
The EU officials had dutifully obliged with Beijing’s wrongful demands, leading to the organisation getting labelled as spineless and members from within the organisation criticising it for succumbing to Chinese influence.
Within the European Union, the Member States are getting individually bullied by the Dragon. Sweden and China have been at loggerheads with each other, and the Chinese Ambassador to Sweden, Gui Congyou has been openly offensive like any other Chinese diplomat- issuing threats and using extremely aggressive language.
Estonia, another EU member, released an intelligence report warning about growing Chinese influence, following which it has been facing pressure from Beijing to amend the report.
The Chinese Embassy in France has been constantly ridiculing the country’s response to COVID-19 Pandemic by spreading rumours and speculations, clearly meddling into France’s internal affairs.
All these countries have individually raised their voice against Beijing and many of them have also demanded an international investigation into the origins of the Pandemic. They have also tightened their FDI norms in an attempt to avoid hostile Chinese takeovers. But while EU member States lock horns with Beijing over the Pandemic origins and the country’s mishandling of the situation, the EU itself is appeasing China.
The European Union is a Union of member states located in the European Continent. It is supposed to speak for and safeguard the interests of the member states but it seems to be giving in to China’s demands every single time.
As a result of its constant pandering of Beijing, the EU has come out looking incredibly spineless. What is the use of the organisation if it cannot speak up for the interests of the countries that it represents? The Pandemic has only exposed how deeply the EU officials are compromised towards China, rendering the intergovernmental body unfit for representing its members.
This could very well lead to the disintegration of the European Union. As the EU fails to rise against China for its member States every single time, a sense of disillusionment is bound to set in. What it could trigger is more Brexits, each bringing it closer to an eventual dissolution.