BEIJING – Antagonisms between the United States and China are rattling governments around the world, prompting a German official to warn of “Cold War 2.0” and Kenya’s president to appeal for unity to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Global trade already was depressed by the 2-year-old tariff war between the world’s two biggest economies. That rancor has spread to include Hong Kong, Chinese Muslims, spying accusations and control of the South China Sea.
Caught in the middle, other governments are trying to defend their own interests.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's government wants to preserve trade and cooperation on global warming but says a security law tightening Beijing’s control over Hong Kong is a “difficult issue."
The Hong Kong security law's potential disruption of the autonomy Beijing promised to the former British colony is no reason to stop talking but is “a worrying development,” Merkel said.
Europe’s biggest economy has yet to take a final position on Chinese tech giant Huawei despite U.S. pressure to exclude its equipment from next-generation telecom networks as a possible security risk.
“China is an important partner for us but also a competitor,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement after a videoconference Friday with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.