In what appears to be a concerted effort to gather international support against the prospect of U.S. protectionism, China has been meeting with trade representatives from Europe to make its case amid global trade concerns, sources told Reuters.
Officials from France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, and the EU met with China’s International Trade Representative Fu Ziying for what the sources say were “non-confrontational” discussions, although there may have been some “subliminal threats” for companies from countries that chose to side too closely with the US.
This may be a sign of China’s true unease about the possibility of a trade war with Washington. The EU’s delegate to the talks said that the meeting “smacks of desperation because China also knows that the European Union is not going to confront its biggest ally,” adding that “China has been very effective at making the most of the free-trading rule book. I don’t think anyone in the West is going to leave it to China to set new ones.”