China: From partner to rival [What Think Tanks are thinking]

02-10-2020

According to analysts and politicians, China’s increasingly autocratic domestic stance and assertive foreign policy are damaging its relations with the European Union. No substantial agreement was achieved at a virtual EU-China summit on 14 September, despite years of negotiations on many issues, not least on trade and investment. ‘For the EU, China is simultaneously (in different policy areas) a cooperation partner, a negotiation partner, an economic competitor and a systemic rival,’ the European External Action Service’s background paper says. Formally, the EU and China have been strategic partners since 2003 – a partnership that was broadened five years ago by the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. However, more recently, EU officials and politicians have been expressing increasing concerns over China’s economic expansionism and human rights violations. The current coronavirus pandemic and developments in Hong Kong have had a marked negative impact on EU-China relations. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on China, its ties with the EU and related issues.

According to analysts and politicians, China’s increasingly autocratic domestic stance and assertive foreign policy are damaging its relations with the European Union. No substantial agreement was achieved at a virtual EU-China summit on 14 September, despite years of negotiations on many issues, not least on trade and investment. ‘For the EU, China is simultaneously (in different policy areas) a cooperation partner, a negotiation partner, an economic competitor and a systemic rival,’ the European External Action Service’s background paper says. Formally, the EU and China have been strategic partners since 2003 – a partnership that was broadened five years ago by the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. However, more recently, EU officials and politicians have been expressing increasing concerns over China’s economic expansionism and human rights violations. The current coronavirus pandemic and developments in Hong Kong have had a marked negative impact on EU-China relations. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on China, its ties with the EU and related issues.