Europe’s ‘pushback’ on China: recommendations for EU-China relations (Institut Montaigne)

Many EU member states are either internally divided between security circles and economic stakeholders, or fall in one of the following two categories: those having commercial interests in the Chinese market (largely, Northern Europe), and those expecting investment from China (Southern Europe, if not a partly disillusioned Central and Eastern Europe).

The growing economic power of China, and the Europe’s awkward situation in the US-China trade war, puts enormous pressure on the EU to find a way to manage relations with China. The health and economic fallout from the pandemic has added to this pressure.

This detailed, informative and comprehensive policy paper from the Institut Montaigne covers the span of the current state of EU-China relations. The full complexity of the challenges facing the EU in this relationship are spelt out, as are the consequences for it of the strategic competition between the US and China.

The practicality of the harder line towards China recommended in the paper can be called into question as the post-pandemic environment has yet to fully reveal itself. Moreover, the outcome of the US election will have an impact on US-China competition that the EU will need to factor into its strategy. However, the paper makes a case worthy of consideration.

Read the full article (external link).

Author: François Godement, Senior Advisor for Asia to Institut Montaigne, Paris | Non-resident Senior Associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. | External consultant for the Policy Planning Staff of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.