Russia is looking for closer relations with China as a counterbalance for threats from foreign powers like the USA. Russia’s authorities regularly express concern over the American defense systems establishing a global missile shield in the countries along its borders in both Europe and Asia. Russia incites race divisions in the US with fake news in traditional and social media to influence the results of the presidential election in November. State-sponsored hackers organize attacks on political parties, consultants, and other election-related entities in the USA.
China is involved in a series of disputes with the US concerning the influence over the South China Sea, trade, and human rights issues while America seeks to drive out the Chinese investment in Europe. European Union works to remove the asymmetry in the economic and trade relations while insisting on China’s government to apply to human rights standards. Beijing wants to tighten economic relations but fails to open its market at a pace expected by the European representatives.
The EU does not intend to choose sides in the rivalry between the US and China. It lies in its interest to shape its own policies in relation to Beijing and other Asian countries interested in access to European technology and markets. Japan, Vietnam, and Singapore have signed free trade agreements with Brussels, while India is seeking closer cooperation on maritime and cybersecurity as well as counterterrorism.