Commenting ahead of the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China that will be celebrated on 1 October, the co-chairs of the European Green Party Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said that over the past 70 years China experienced “progress and tragedy, hope and repression, vastly increased strength and the continued unwillingness of the government to grant the Chinese citizens the freedoms and human rights they deserve”.

“Over the last 40 years China has been utterly successful in the economic realm by opting for a policy of opening up and reform. More recently, however, this approach has been superseded by a nationalist agenda. China will throughout the foreseeable future continue to be a major player in many dimensions of international relations. Europe should apply a clearly differentiated strategy vis-à-vis China: cooperate, where cooperation in fairness is possible; compete, where a strong competitive attitude is necessary to promote our values and interests; and push back against China as a systemic rival, when the Chinese leadership attempts to export its authoritarian system and to reshape the rules of multilateralism in a China-centric way. We would hope that cooperation can prevail, but it will take two to tango,” said Bütikofer and Frassoni.