Covid-19 is a chance for the U.S. and Europe to unite on China

April 3, 2020

Wess Mitchell is a principal at the Marathon Initiative and served as assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian affairs from 2017 to 2019.

The United States and Europe should use the covid-19 epidemic as an opportunity to form a more united front in dealing with China.

For the past two years, Washington has prevailed upon allied capitals to take the threat from Beijing more seriously in the fields of international trade and technology. The Trump administration succeeded in putting the fact of predatory Chinese behavior squarely on the transatlantic agenda after years of the United States underestimating — or worse, appeasing — Beijing. But these entreaties in Europe have only partly succeeded.

European allies chafe at what they say is a peremptory U.S. style of diplomacy. But the reality is that many European states prefer not to confront Beijing for fear of damaging valuable commercial relationships. As a result, the United States and Europe have not been able to come together on China strategy.

The Washington Post

Dr. A. Wess Mitchell is co-founder and principal at The Marathon Initiative, a policy initiative focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition.