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What Europeans think about the US China Cold War

Authors: Ivan Krastev and Mark Leonard

Affiliation: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)

Organization/Publisher: ECFR

Date/Place: September 22, 2021/Berlin, Germany

Type of Literature: Policy Brief

Number of Pages: 20


Keywords: European citizens, Iran, US-China rivalry, Russia, Cold-War


A survey conducted by ECFR indicates a flagrant split between European citizens and their states’ policymakers. Europeans think that a new Cold War is underway as rivalry is growing between the US and China, as they also do not think their own countries are involved in this rivalry and that European states should not side with any. Instead, European people see that their own countries need to have partners regardless of their given local political system or ideology. Furthermore, European citizens are divided between siding to China or the US. By that, a division within the European society poses a huge problem for their own states’ sovereignty, if policymakers are not backed by their own people. However, with this perception, European policymakers lack societal support to fight against the autocracies of China and Russia, as European people see the US is not as powerful as it was during the Cold War. European states, then, need to focus less upon ideology and alignment and find ways for rebalanced alliances that can empower and restore sovereignty to European sovereignty in an uncertain world.


By: Imad Atoui, CIGA Research Associate



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