Foreign companies in China are having to negotiate a “political minefield” as a result of Beijing’s strained relations with Brussels and Washington, a leading European business association said on Thursday, reported the South China Morning Post.
In its annual position paper, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said firms were concerned about the threat of retaliation by Beijing as a result of its political spats with their national governments. There is a risk of a long-term, downward spiral in relations between China and Europe, which “have the potential to seriously impact European companies”, it said.
“Companies are left navigating a political minefield during a health crisis of truly overwhelming proportions, and this situation is becoming more precarious, with the previously isolated voices that were intent on sowing political discontent slowly building into a chorus,” it said.
“All of a sudden, we find ourselves not just in a delicate situation in Beijing, as usual, but also now we have a delicate situation on the home front where parliamentarians, public opinion, governments, NGOs are questioning us why we are operating in a country that does A, B, C, D,” Joerg Wuttke, the chamber’s president, said.