Europe and China

Europe and China: Strategic Partners or Rivals?

Edited by Roland Vogt
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 300
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  • Book Info
    Europe and China
    Book Description:

    Casting new light on Sino-European relations, this volume challenges the official rhetoric of "constructive engagement" and "strategic partnership" between Europe and China, by revealing the internal and external limitations and constraints of their interaction. The contributions illustrate that Europe and China are not static, monolithic, and unitary entities. Sino-European relations are becoming a complex web of economic, diplomatic, social, and cultural interlinkages and are driven by numerous actors with often diverging interests. While trade has been a dominant factor in this relationship, Europe and China are now tied together by more than commercial exchanges. Concerns about energy and climate change, human rights and policies towards Africa, geostrategic considerations, as well as a pervasive anxiety about China's rise in Europe are now important elements of this relationship. In the absence of common borders or strategic interests in each other's regions, Sino-European affairs are cordial and friendly, but also remain distant and vague. The growing quantity of interactions has so far not led to a qualitative upgrade of the relationship. Both sides continue to be secondary partners to each other. Misperceptions, false expectations, and a general lack of understanding of each other's internal drivers of policy continue to be major obstacles for improving ties between Europe and China.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-894-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    Roland Vogt
  5. Contributors
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  7. INTRODUCTION Europe and China: A Maturing Relationship?
    (pp. 1-16)
    Roland Vogt

    This book deals with the changing relationship between Europe and China. Its central theme is to explore the growing breadth and complexity of this important relationship. Europe and China are increasingly being drawn together not only because of booming trade and economic interdependence, but also because they are playing more active roles in global affairs. Rather than merely describing the instruments and mechanisms of the interactions between both sides, the contributors to this volume critically reflect on several new dimensions of this relationship. What emerges is a picture that is more nuanced but less straightforward than much of the literature...

  8. Part I: Europe and China in a Changing International Order

    • CHAPTER 1 Challenges and Opportunities in EU-China Relations
      (pp. 19-36)
      Xinning Song

      The European Communities established formal diplomatic relations with China in 1975. Further agreements on trade and economic cooperation followed in May 1978 and May 1985, and in October 1988 the European Commission (EC) opened its delegation office in Beijing. Despite the smoothness of the relationship during the later period of the Cold War, it was still regarded as a derivable relationship (Shambaugh, 1997: 45), dependent on Sino-US and Sino-Soviet ties. The EC lacked a policy towards China that was independent of these larger geopolitical considerations. The end of the Cold War thus impacted greatly on the bilateral relationship. A new...

    • CHAPTER 2 Problematizing “Constructive Engagement” in EU-China Policy
      (pp. 37-58)
      Chengxin Pan

      For much of the past two decades, “constructive engagement” has been a staple EU policy towards China. Promoted, for example, in the European Commission’s (EC) 1998 communication Building a Comprehensive Partnership with China, constructive engagement is said to have transformed EU-China relations into an increasingly maturing partnership (European Commission, 2003). China’s EU Policy Paper, the first ever such Chinese policy paper on a bilateral relationship, promptly echoed this view, describing China-EU relations as “better than at any time in history” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2003). With booming bilateral trade, annual EU-China summits, frequent cultural exchanges, and more than 20 annual...

    • CHAPTER 3 Limitations for Europe’s Partnership with China
      (pp. 59-80)
      Roland Vogt

      Over the course of the last decade, relations between Europe and China have entered a new era. For much of the years since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, relations between Europe (especially Western Europe) and China have been secondary and distant. Yet, with the return of Hong Kong and Macau to Chinese sovereignty in the late 1990s, the last vestiges of a European presence on Chinese soil disappeared. The widespread condemnation in Europe over Beijing’s handling of the student protests in June 1989 has given way to a policy of “constructive engagement.” And last but...

    • CHAPTER 4 From Client Status to Strategic Partnership: China’s Changing Perceptions of Europe
      (pp. 81-94)
      Li Wang

      After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the United States, a few observers suggested that no country could forever remain the primary player in world affairs. The argument went that America’s unipolar moment would inevitably come to an end. But who will be the next leading player? It is likely that before China’s rise is completed, it may well be Europe that plays a more prominent role in world politics. “Europe’s time is almost there. In fact, there are many areas of the current international affairs where the objective conclusion would have to be that Europe is already...

    • CHAPTER 5 An Anatomy of European and American Perspectives on China in the International System
      (pp. 95-112)
      Reuben Wong

      Are EU relations with China still a “secondary relationship”? It has been argued that prior to 1992, Beijing’s relations with Eastern and Western Europe were a function of Beijing’s relations with Washington and Moscow, and that after 1992 and the collapse of the Soviet Union, China’s relations with European states were demonstrating “growing independent dynamics” (Shambaugh et al., 1996: 3). Similarly, Europe’s post-war relations with China were dependent on Washington and Moscow.¹ In essence, the relationship between the EU and China was “derivative” of the primary relationships each had with the US and USSR (Shambaugh et al., 1996; Yahuda, 1994)....

  9. Part II: New Issues and Dimensions

    • CHAPTER 6 Human Rights and EU-China Relations
      (pp. 115-138)
      Ting Wai

      Ever since the end of Cold War, China has strenuously persisted in continuing with its “open door” and reform policies, while insisting that the economic reform process can only succeed under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Rapid economic growth has enabled people to improve their livelihoods, thus helping to legitimize the one-party dictatorship. A more confident regime has become more determined to stand against the pressure from the West, which originates from and is epitomized in the form of economic and military sanctions after the Tiananmen incident of 1989. The robust economic prowess, coupled with the growing...

    • CHAPTER 7 China’s Expanding Role in Africa and Implications for the EU
      (pp. 139-154)
      Linda Jakobson and Jacob Wood

      For the first time in decades, Africa has been attracting the positive attention of the rest of the world (Cheru, 1998). Afro-pessimism has given way to more upbeat images of Africa and aspirations that a framework for a viable African development agenda can indeed be put in place. Africa is home to 300 million of the globe’s poorest people and the world’s most formidable development challenges. Since 1995 more than 15 sub-Saharan countries have enjoyed real per capita growth rates of over 2% a year, compared with only 5% in 1960–94 (World Bank, 2005: 26). Despite the optimism, sustainable development...

    • CHAPTER 8 Global Warming Politics: The EU, China, and Climate Change
      (pp. 155-174)
      Richard Balme

      In recent years the accumulation of evidence regarding the probability, causes, and effects of climate change deeply renewed the logics and instruments of environmental policy-making. Once primarily a specific and domestic issue addressed by second-rank ministries and administrations, the need to develop climate change policies propelled the environment as an encompassing issue engaging most social activities and public policies, from energy production, urban planning, and transportation, to agriculture and deforestation. The growing concern among experts and public opinions pushed climate change on public agendas, while the systemic relation between climate and human activity called for a more integrated approach in...

    • CHAPTER 9 Energy Issues in the EU and Taiwan
      (pp. 175-200)
      Steve Wood

      Energy presents the EU and Taiwan with serious political and existential challenges. Some involve CO2 emissions, climate change, and environmental sustainability. More concerns pertain to international political economy and foreign affairs. These and other constraints, including insufficient expansion or unsuitability of renewable sources (RES), suggest that although Taiwan and many EU states are declared as “non-nuclear,” they have incentives to retain and even expand nuclear industries. Yet skepticism about nuclear power exists alongside some indicators of public acceptance or indifference. Competing and contradictory pressures mean policy and decision-makers are confronted with difficult choices. Refusal to make them will further limit...

    • CHAPTER 10 Sino-Vatican Relations and the Intermediary Roles of Hong Kong and Macau
      (pp. 201-218)
      Beatrice Leung

      In 1987, Sino-Vatican negotiations started with the aim of normalizing the disrupted diplomatic relationship between the Holy See and Beijing. These negotiations have yet to come to an agreement, with Beijing and the Vatican continuing to pursue incompatible objectives. Changes in the international arena and China’s rapid economic growth have given both sides an entirely new impetus for the negotiations. This chapter explores the recent shift of paradigms in Sino-Vatican relations and emphasizes the roles played by Hong Kong and Macau as conduits for the ongoing negotiation process.

      Sino-Vatican diplomatic relations were established in 1942 under the nationalist government. They...

  10. CONCLUSION Europe and China after the Global Financial Crisis
    (pp. 219-228)
    Roland Vogt

    As the diverse contributions to this volume have shown, the relationship between Europe and China is becoming broader and more complex. Beyond traditional diplomacy, regular summits, and trade, Europe and China are now engaged in the common management of a growing field of policy issues and concerns, ranging from human rights to climate change and energy as well as development policies towards Africa. The common policy agenda has not only expanded, but the number of actors involved has also grown. This is particularly true of China, where foreign policy is increasingly being driven by a number of actors in government...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 229-234)
  12. References
    (pp. 235-272)
  13. Index
    (pp. 273-284)