Rebooting Europe’s China Strategy

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Publication Date May 2022
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This analysis reaches a number of conclusions for the China policy of European countries, whether they are members of the EU or not. Europe will need to base engagement with China on a definition of its values, interests and objectives that is shared among Europeans. Achieving this will require persistent political efforts to prevail against centrifugal tendencies within Europe and attempts by China to undermine a unified European voice. The nature of the European political process by itself favours long-term considerations over short-term ones and prioritises moderation over emotion. This also makes it likely that European positions will be compatible with those of middle power democracies such as Japan, South Korea, Australia or Canada, as well as with those of some ASEAN countries. In that sense, Europe seems well positioned in its ability to build coalitions – a key source of soft power in today’s international relations.

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CER Bulletin: No. 141, 2021/22: An Isolated China is a More Dangerous China
Cardiff EDC: EU-China summit via video conference, 1 April 2022
ECFR Policy Briefs: Sept. 2020: The new China consensus: How Europe is growing wary of Beijing

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