China maintains ties with Russia, Europe turns to Asia

While China strengthens its strategic alliance with Russia, Europe seeks allies elsewhere in Asia.
According to two officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are set to fly to Tokyo next week to co-host an EU-Japan summit.
This will be the first time the two have gone to East Asia together since taking over the EU soon before the beginning of COVID-19.
Last week, German chancellor Olaf Scholz made his first trip to Asia since taking office, skipping China in favour of Japan, a change from his predecessor Angela Merkel’s propensity for forging personal connections with Beijing’s Communist leadership.
Von der Leyen had visited the Raisina Dialogue, a significant foreign policy forum in India, only days prior, when she expressed specific concerns about Beijing and Moscow’s “no limits” collaboration.
Even while the Russian conflict on Ukraine consumes much of Europe’s political attention, the Czech presidency of the EU Council, which begins in June, aims to hold a series of events with Indo-Pacific allies.
Should China assist Russia avoid sanctions or supply it with weapons, both US President Joe Biden and the Commission’s von der Leyen warned of “consequences” and “reputational risks.”
Last week, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss went even farther, saying: “By talking about the rise of China as inevitable we are doing China’s work for it. In fact, their rise isn’t inevitable. They will not continue to rise if they don’t play by the rules.”

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