China-Europe sanctions fight shatters image of amicable ties

BEIJING (AP) — China looked to Europe as an amicable partner as the continent’s leaders resisted being drawn into President Donald Trump’s conflicts with Beijing over trade, technology and human rights. That image shattered when the European Union joined Washington, Britain and Canada in imposing sanctions on Chinese officials over accusations they abused ethnic minorities. Beijing hit back with penalties against four European legislators and a German researcher. The timing is highly symbolic. It highlights U.S.-European cooperation two months after Trump, who disdained the trans-Atlantic alliance, was succeeded by President Joe Biden. Biden says he wants to recruit allies to confront China. Europe’s move follows mounting grievances about trade and human rights that soured attitudes toward China.