The European Union’s crises have damaged the positive image of the continent in China. The Brexit vote disrupted many Chinese commentators’ sympathetic view of the EU as a shining example of political continuity. Many Chinese media see the EU’s failure to deal with the refugee crisis and terrorist attacks as the result of a lack of unity and force. Ahead of the EU-China Summit in Beijing (12-13 July) the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) published a new China Monitor on Chinese media coverage of EU crises: "Questioning not the EU, but the “Western system” - European crises through the lens of Chinese media."
The authors Jasmin Gong (MERICS Visiting Academic Fellow), Bertram Lang (Research Associate at MERICS), and Kristin Shi-Kupfer (Director of the Research Area on Politics, Society, Media at MERICS) point out that Chinese state media in particular instrumentalize the difficult situation in Europe to denounce “Western values” as a whole. Chinese diplomats use crisis situations like the massive influx of refugees into the EU to refute criticism of the human rights situation or political repression in China.