A RECONFIGURATION OF SINO-EU RELATIONS UNDER NEW CIRCUMSTANCES?
Iulia Oehler-Şincai ()
Global Economic Observer, 2018, vol. 6, issue 2, 129-139
The present paper focuses on four research objectives. First, it reflects how the interactions in the US-EU-China triangle impact on the Sino-EU relations. The renewed evidence of American unilateralism represents the most recent and significant factor influencing the relationship between China and the EU. As emphasized by the Joint Communiqué adopted at the 20th EU-China summit which took place in July 2018, China and the EU are committed to multilateralism. Both sides seem ready to make more concessions now, even if the EU still remains closer to the US than to China due to the complex system of their corresponding political values and economic models. Second, the analysis underlines changes at the level of another recent determinant of Sino-EU relations, namely the 16+1 cooperation framework. Notwithstanding China’s endeavours to demonstrate that 16+1 is not against the EU unity and its economic objectives, this framework is still seen as a “divisive” factor. Third, starting from the EU’s objective to become a global player and from the evidence that nowadays no entity can have this status in the absence of a strong presence in the Indo-Pacific region, this research briefly emphasizes the actual system of relations in Asia-Pacific under the recent American Indo-Pacific vision. Fourth, the investigation adds a case study and points out various intensities of cooperation with China among the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, Hungary revealing the strongest political will to consolidate its ties with China, while Romania maintaining its “wait-and-see” attitude. Given the growing uncertainty surrounding the system of international relations and increasing protectionist trends, the paper concludes that China and the EU benefit from a unique moment, which might be conducive to a deepening of their strategic partnership.
Keywords: China; EU; strategic partnership; United States; unilateralism; Indo-Pacific vision; Belt and Road Initiative; 16+1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ntu:ntugeo:vol6-iss2-18-129
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