China Backlash: Toward a Transatlantic Agenda?
At a time when the transatlantic relationship is under greater strain than at any period since World War II, there is one issue that should be pushing the United States and Europe closer together: China. On both sides of the Atlantic, concerns about China’s growing economic, political, and military ambitions have grown exponentially in recent years as President Xi Jinping has strengthened his grip over the country and laid out a set of ambitious multi-year plans and initiatives designed to restore China to past greatness. In Washington and many European capitals, there is shared anxiety today over a broad swathe of Chinese activities and policies. These range from the treatment of Western firms in China and a flurry of strategic, state-backed Chinese acquisitions abroad, to the spread of debt and political influence through Xi’s global infrastructure push, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and the emergence of a pervasive Chinese surveillance state. China’s more assertive military posture in the Indo-Pacific and its human rights record, exemplified by the internment of over a million Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang, have deepened the collective sense of alarm.