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The new China consensus: How Europe is growing wary of Beijing

Author: Janka Oertel

Affiliation: Director of the Asia Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations 

Organization/Publisher:   European Council on Foreign Relations

Date/Place: September 14, 2020/ Berlin, Germany

Type of Literature:  Policy Brief

Number of Pages:  28


Keywords: EU, China, Coronavirus, Economy



This policy brief advises and offers recommendations for EU member states in how to coherently and consistently act towards the emerging power of China. Despite the consensus between member states about the Chinese challenge that the EU faces, there is also a consensus between member states that the EU is less equipped to tackle the challenges posed by an authoritarian capitalist model. EU member states’ different foreign policies towards China and a lack of coherence between them are a key problem for Europeans to reduce Chinese influence. Additionally, states like Germany and France are economically dependent on China. A Chinese geopolitical movement poses a great challenge to the EU, but amid the crisis of Coronavirus there is momentum against China. Now is the time to coordinate and improve the EU’s capacity (and institutions) to act, but to reposition itself and compete for world leadership, the EU needs to act coherently and consistently. To do so, several steps have to be taken between member states, such as the EU must integrate all member states when it comes to decisions concerning Sino-EU relations; there must be transparency between member states concerning each state’s policy towards China. Last but not least, the EU must react geopolitically at different levels, like the economy, to reduce Chinese influence.


By: Imad Atoui, CIGA Research Associate



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