“Sino-American tensions don’t benefit France,” said Valerie Niquet of the Foundation for Strategic Research, a think tank.
“We share the same interests as the United States towards China, we adopt more or less the same positions, so it doesn’t bring us any positive element,” stated Valerie.
Europe’s “strategic relations” with China will be an issue for the European Union while Germany holds the rotating presidency of the 27-nation bloc, Merkel said this month.
EU foreign ministers have not managed to agree on a common position on China.
Regarding Hong Kong, options include closer scrutiny of exports of sensitive technology to the territory and changing visa policies for its residents.
But there is no talk of economic sanctions or targeting Chinese officials with penalties.
“The message is that the recent actions change the rules,” said the top EU foreign policy official, Josep Borrell. “This will require a revision of our approach and will clearly have an impact on our relations.”
South Korea is squeezed between its main military ally and its biggest trading partner.