European Union and China seek climate partnership

The refusal of President Donald Trump to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Article 5 undermines its deterrence value

This was announced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in a joint media briefing after talks in Berlin today. The two held bilateral talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on June 1.

Chinese premier Li Keqiang said in Berlin that fighting global warming is a "global consensus" and an "international responsibility".

Merkel welcomed Li's announcement that China would stand by its obligations on climate, saying that China and Germany are partners in building a "rules-based global order". She welcomed India's push for EU-Indian free trade agreement, and praised the country saying, "India wants the world not just to be interconnected but also that it should be sensibly run".

Trump, who has said climate change is a "hoax" and that restrictions are bad for the US economy, has already moved to roll back many Obama-era policies such as clean power, vehicle emission standards and curbs on power plants.

Trump says the deal "disadvantages" the USA and is causing lost jobs and lower wages.

China, long recognized as the world's dominant trading power, now hopes that by showing leadership on the fight against climate change it can translate its economic might into yet greater political influence. Zhang Baohui, professor of worldwide relations at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, said, "Europe in general and Germany specifically are collectively experiencing a paradigm shift in their perceptions of U.S. -Europe relations". But I think it will be the United States who will be losing from this decision.

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While travelling overseas last week, Mr Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders as well as Pope Francis. She also said that Europe should find a new alliance. The detailed negotiations over the withdrawal and the rewriting of various trade agreements will last for some time; however, for the moment, it is important for the European Union to register some clear successes, in order to dissuade other member countries from following Britain's lead and possibly undermining European Union survival.

Still, the European Union remains cautious about the direction of its second-largest trading partner, concerned by its militarization of islands in the South China Sea and it sees as increased authoritarianism under Xi.

The presentation of the plans will be given during a meeting of European Union (EU) and Chinese officials in Brussels on Friday.

A comprehensive EU-China free trade agreement has been under negotiation since 1984, it should be noted.

"China sees this as an opportunity to present itself as a responsible partner, to consolidate friendships, and to make a claim for, if you like, moral high ground, which has not been terribly easy for China to do", Hilton said.

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