DUALITY - DIALOGUE - DISCOURSE: SOME PERSPECTIVES ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN EU-CHINA RELATIONS

In: The European Union and China

Abstract

This chapter offers seven perspectives, and a conclusion, on what is, arguably, the ‘thorniest’ issue in contemporary EU-China relations: the human rights question. The study examines a number of fundamental ambiguities in Sino-European relations, and points to the legacies of past civilisational encounters, in as far as they continue to have an impact on current EU-China interaction (‘dualities’, ‘encounters’). The chapter then briefly discusses how the EU-China dialogue can be conceptualised from the point of view of international relations theory and discourse in China and Europe (‘embeddings’, ‘discourses’). The essay proceeds to an analysis of the role of ideas, identity-politics and perceptions in EU-China human rights discussions and examines how EU China foreign policy can be understood to be constructed around some key elements and frameworks (‘identities’, ‘pathways’). The chapter closes by emphasising the roles of intellectual exchange and knowledge-based co-operation and by offering a brief closing assessment of the likely future course of EU-China debates over human rights (‘connectivities’, ‘appraisals’).

The European Union and China

Interests and Dilemmas

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