Euronews’ Brussels bureau brings you its latest episode of a weekly talk show that aims to break down European news and politics to make it more accessible to viewers.
This week, we are joined by Bruno Lété, a security and defence specialist with The German Marshall Fund; Tomi Huhtanen, the executive director of The Wilfried Martens Centre; and Teri Schultz, a reporter specialised in NATO and Finnish affairs.
Panellists picked apart the big headlines of the week from Finland joining the NATO alliance to the EU Commission president and the French president’s trip to China. Ursula von der Leyen and Emmanuel Macron were in Beijing trying to dissuade Xi Jinping from getting any closer to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But for Bruno Lété, China will not listen to anybody but themselves.
“I think China’s only interest here is China and to be very honest, I think that China benefits greatly from the war in Ukraine.
“You have the West exhausting itself in there. You have Russia exhausting itself in there. The two parties are exhausting each other and in the meantime, China just goes along and grows and gets more influence on the world stage,” said Lété.
Speaking in Brussels this week, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general, said that China should not spread the Kremlin’s wartime narrative.
Stoltenberg warned Beijing against delivering ammunition to Moscow, a scenario that NATO and EU countries believe could be a game-changer in the Ukraine war.
Regarding the EU Commission president and French president’s trip to Beijing, Teri Schultz told the panel that it feels like “an uncomfortable situation” to see the EU and France promoting EU business interests in China while at the same time, Stoltenberg and Blinken are wagging their fingers warning China.
“We heard very strong language at NATO this week because it’s significant that they have not seen that China has transferred lethal aid to Russia to help in the war but we’ve been hearing for months that they’re considering it.
“So obviously, as Bruno says, (China is ) keeping their options open, but they have clearly seen that it is not ultimately in their interest to help Russia fight Ukraine and the United States is making clear, as are other NATO allies, we will hurt you if you do this Beijing”.