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Even if Europe wants to break away from post-Covid China, that can’t be



This is what touring Spain this summer could look like

However, China’s actions since the pandemic began have not led to the conclusion in Brussels that now is the time for Europe to be cool towards China.

Although there are allegations of covering up the disease early on, spreading misinformation and controversial “masked diplomacy” – through which the Chinese state exports medical supplies such as masks and dresses when the virus hits Europe in the hope that public relations wins, even if it backfires. in some cases – several figures from both member states and EU institutions told CNN that the outbreak had actually reinforced the fact that engagement with China was more important than before. These sources are not authorized to speak in the notes on policies that have not yet been adopted.

The logic goes like this: EU’s current priorities are managing its recovery from coronavirus, both economically and strategically; become a serious geopolitical player; strengthen the European economy; and become a world leader in the climate crisis.

It is widely accepted in Brussels that expanding relations with China plays a role in each of these. Officials believe that Chinese involvement is crucial if the world wants to understand the virus and learn the right lessons from the plague. China’s enormous wealth and willingness to invest is clearly a very attractive prospect for the struggling EU economy. If the climate crisis is to be controlled, a good place to start is the world’s biggest polluter. And by taking a cautious path between the US and China, Europe created a unique role for itself on the international stage, giving it diplomatic autonomy from Washington.

However, the pandemic has also refocused attention on other issues involving China which European leaders have been willing to ignore, including the detention of up to one million Uyghurs who are predominantly Muslim in the country’s western Xinjiangb region, industrial espionage and the suppression of democracy in Hong Kong

Uncomfortably, this reminder came only a few months before the European Union and China were scheduled to meet at a September summit to strengthen their relations in the future. Fortunately, Covid-19 has postponed the meeting.

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“The pandemic has been a warning for member countries that are heading towards the China summit in September, blinded by the glitter of Chinese money,” said Steven Blockmans, head of foreign policy at the Center for European Policy Studies. “The closure in Wuhan and misinformation has damaged China’s position on how reliable the partner is for Europe.”

This places Europe in a narrow place. On the one hand, he must be involved with Beijing; on the other hand, he must recognize that China is a systemic rival that cannot be fully trusted. For now, the EU is holding on to this position.

“Out of necessity, we have complicated relations with China. They are partners and rivals,” said a senior European diplomat who was not authorized to articulate a position that had not been adopted by the entire EU.

Europe and China have grown closer over the past three decades, because both sides find the temptation of the other party’s economic power impossible to ignore. Because China might grow after the economic collapse, Chinese money seems more attractive to European economies. And while cooperation with Beijing is always accompanied by security risks and disagreements about the fundamental problems of democracy, the benefits are largely seen as commensurate.

While the European Union sees its complex position in China as a diplomatic advantage, it risks complicating matters with its two closest allies in the near future: Britain and the United States.

Last year, the Boris Johnson government controversially agreed that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei could build up to 35% of Britain’s 5G infrastructure, despite heavy pressure from Washington.

At the time, the debate was about whether it made the British vulnerable to Chinese espionage. “From the British point of view, 5G is no longer a pure discussion on risk management, but part of a broader geopolitical problem,” said Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former British Foreign Secretary. Rifkind believes that China’s main foreign policy is “threatening countries that are not in line with China’s view of how it should behave,” and that the current government “cannot just divorce their behavior in Covid, in Hong Kong and in imprisoned Uighurs. “

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Huawei’s decision is currently being reviewed and a senior British official who is familiar with the review process told CNN it was “fair to say it didn’t look good for Huawei.” The official was not allowed to speak on tape.

Britain has also taken a firm line in Hong Kong, saying that it will provide a path to citizenship for millions of Hong Kong citizens as China prepares to enact a cruel new national security law in the city.

Of course, this change in London is being seen as a big victory by the Chinese eagle in Washington, which, under the guidance of President Donald Trump, has been turning the screw since 2016. And with Britain now in the corner, the US might also dare to hit China harder.

“It will be difficult for the EU to ignore the US call for sanctions and abolition,” Blockmans said. “The government will try to get it up [the US] general election is over. But if the next government adopts secondary sanctions like Trump did with Iran, the EU must find new ways to protect its autonomy in international affairs. “

This autonomy is still very valuable for the EU. “There is a clear desire from the EU not to become a tool for US diplomacy and find our own way to deal with China,” the EU diplomat said. However, the diplomat also acknowledged that Brussels was unable to act at the same level of “naivety” as it had occurred after the eurozone crisis, when the battered European economy welcomed Chinese direct investment and the acquisition of failed companies – and Europe opened “its markets without security guarantees, among others. “

“I think with Covid, we might be getting closer to a European understanding of what China is and how it behaves,” said Lucrezia Poggetti, an analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies. “The behavior of the Chinese government in times of crisis raises eyebrows in Europe with its efforts to play against European countries with each other and weaken democracy, for example through disinformation. And because it has become more prominent in national political debates, Europeans might understand China more, “he added.

Four EU officials personally admit that they regret not being more assertive with China. “We are the number one market in the world and we now have to use it as a lever when dealing with China,” said an EU diplomat involved in Brussels’ s foreign policy.

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Blockmans thinks they can go further and use assets such as the lucrative European Union single market and laws that oversee access to them as an influence in negotiations: “Trade unions must expand their global strategy and use international and EU law more aggressively to defend their interests and advance its security objectives against China and the US. ”

These are all possibilities to be very complicated. In spite of everything, the main objective of the EU international is still to balance the relations between the US and China by engaging with the latter – which he claims are systemic rivals – with the risk of making the former furious. This will be difficult for any world power to do. When you recall that the European Union consisted of 27 member countries, all of whom had equal votes in this matter, it could potentially explode.

For now, all member states are roughly in the same place, agreeing that China’s involvement is important but must be done with greater attention to the fact that China is a systemic rival.

But the post-pandemic blame game pointing to China could turn some countries into larger eagles, while propaganda spreading pro-Chinese narratives has proven effective in more Euroskeptic countries. Beijing has historically been good at choosing member countries that sympathize with China, especially the less affluent Eastern European countries and populist governments in Italy and Austria.

If the thinking among member states starts to diverge in the coming months, the top brass in Brussels may need to put their ambitions on the ice for a while.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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