Bloc should stop being 'led by the nose' by U.S., says member of European Parliament
A member of the European Parliament from Ireland has called on the European Union to be more independent in working with China instead of being "led by the nose by the Americans".
Mick Wallace said some public figures in the United States engage in anti-China rhetoric because they see China as a threat to U.S. financial supremacy. "The Americans have claimed that China is a threat to U.S. security. I don't believe that," he said in an interview with China Daily.
"I do not see any Chinese warships off the coast of America, but I do see U.S. warships in the South China Sea. The Chinese have not dropped a bomb on anyone in 40 years to the best of my knowledge, but the Americans have dropped a bomb on someone every week for the last 70 years," he said.
"China is not a threat to American security, but it is a threat to their financial supremacy, and America is worried. The American empire, as we have known it, is struggling, and they are fighting back in a way that is not always rational."
Wallace, 65, served in the lower house of the Irish Parliament for eight years before becoming a member of the European Parliament.
He said "China-bashing" has been growing, particularly in the U.S., and this also appears to be the case in the European Parliament, though less so from the general populations of member states.
He pointed out that European governments are very pro-United States, regardless of how badly the U.S. behaves on the international stage.
"No matter how much they ignore international law, how much of a negative impact U.S. imperialism has on other parts of the world, Europe has still supported America. You have a lot of European governments engaging in the same rhetoric against the Chinese," he added.
Such an approach is not necessarily rational, Wallace said. "It is more linked to pressure from the U.S.. The U.S. wants to drive a wedge between Europe and China, the same as they want to drive a wedge between Europe and Russia," he said.
It is in the interest of Europe to have a good relationship with China, just as there should be a good relationship with Russia. "We have a lot to gain from engaging positively with both of them, but that's not what the Americans want," he said.
Wallace urged the EU to be more independent in its policymaking on China and not bow to U.S. pressure.
Europe should develop its strength, courage and independence and "have a mind of its own and not be led by the nose by the Americans", he said.
"We need a stronger Europe, not in a military sense. We need a stronger Europe from the point of view of the decisions and the choices we make."
He added that Europe is less strong than it used to be, which is one of the reasons why it's been easier for the U.S. to dictate policy too much to some member states.