In: The European Union and China
Jenny Clegg
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The formation and development of the European Union, and the rise of China, are transforming the global order, promoting a more multi-centred world. Sino-EU relations will play a key role in shaping the character of the newly-emerging multi-polarity. In examining how China views Europe, this chapter is concerned to set out China’s strategic perspective on Europe’s role in world multi-polarisation, explaining its significance from the Chinese perspective. By improving its relations with Europe step by step, China has been able to strengthen its own status in a world order dominated by the US. The discussion opens with a consideration of China’s multi-polar conception, illuminating this further by tracing the origins of the analysis to the 1970s, to Mao Zedong’s Theory of the Three Worlds. The chapter then outlines developments in Sino-European relations in the wider context of the changing international situation, to reveal how these have helped shape China’s strategic choices. Finally, the discussion reviews recent Chinese views on relations with the EU and considers the prospects for a strengthening of Sino-EU strategic cooperation.

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The European Union and China

Interests and Dilemmas