An Isolated China is a More Dangerous China

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Series Details Number 141
Publication Date December 2021/January 2022
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Sabres rattle in the South China Sea. Diplomatic sanctions scuttle a long-planned investment agreement between the EU and China. Chinese 'wolf-warrior' diplomats scorn their host countries. Not surprisingly, many Europeans have become wary of China. Since 2019, the EU has tried to capture its complex relationship with China by treating it simultaneously as a systemic rival, an economic competitor, and a partner in providing global public goods. While the EU has so far sought to find a balance between all three variables, the latest developments are pushing Europe closer to the stance of the United States, which primarily sees its relationship with China through a prism of confrontation. But isolating China further would be a mistake. While the EU must not be naive about Chinese intentions, a globalised China is less dangerous for Europe and the rest of the world than an autarkic China.

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ECFR Policy Briefs : Sept. 2020: The new China consensus: How Europe is growing wary of Beijing

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