One of the most frequently made European criticisms of China under communist rule has been of the continuing restrictions that the government places upon the freedom of expression of citizens and journalists. This study analyses Chinese journalism within an evolving political system, penetrated increasingly by Western ideas and criticisms as a result of globalisation, the opening up of the Chinese economy and the education of significant numbers of Chinese students in the West. It examines formal and informal restrictions on journalists’ freedom of expression in China. It discusses the modest expansion in their freedom of manoeuvre, as the media has been opened to market forces, and limited forms of criticism have been permitted. The study further explores Chinese views on media control in the context of both historically-rooted concerns about social stability and Communist Party ideology. The analysis concludes by discussing possible paths forward for Chinese journalism, bearing in mind the fact that the internet is likely to become increasingly difficult for the authorities to control, with both user numbers, and technological advances, increasing significantly.
This chapter focuses on China’s search for energy security, especially in the oil and gas sector, and on the impact of this search on China’s relations with the European Union (EU). It places the Chinese energy security strategy within the context of the country’s economic reform program by examining the political dynamics behind developments in the energy sector. The study outlines some key initiatives China has taken to ensure regular and cost-effective oil and gas supplies. It surveys China’s energy security policy and the institutional structure which supports it. China’s search for energy security has led the PRC to develop closer political and military ties with a number of countries in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia; Chinese state-owned oil and gas companies have invested billions of dollars in the development of energy assets there. These efforts have been backed up by Chinese civilian and military aid flows to some strife-torn countries in Africa. This is seen by many European politicians and EU officials as ‘undermining’ their efforts to improve quality of governance and respect for human rights in those countries. This chapter examines the differences between the European Union and China over the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan, a country in which China has made significant investments in nearly all aspects of the oil industry.
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.
The EU and China have both undergone dramatic changes in the past 20 years. With 480 million citizens, a single currency and the largest GDP in the world the EU has become an important actor on the international stage. China, with over 1.3 billion citizens, has undergone dramatic reforms and enjoyed unprecedented economic growth that has also led to a greatly increased world role. Both the EU and China are now keen to develop and further deepen their relationship. As Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner stated in February 2005: ‘There is no greater challenge for Europe than to understand the dramatic rise of China and to forge closer ties with it’. But what do Brussels and Beijing mean when they talk of a ‘strategic partnership’? To what extent do they share the same conceptual ideas and principles? The EU proclaims it stands for a values-based foreign policy with the emphasis on ‘effective multilateralism’. China asserts that its peaceful rise is aimed at developing a ‘harmonious world’. But often the two sides seem to talk past each other. In recent years there has been a flurry of EU policy papers on China. In contrast, China published just one paper in 2003 which was highly appreciative of the EU. This chapter reviews the EU approach to China, assesses the thinking behind the various communications and examines the main challenges the EU is facing in forging a new strategic partnership with China.
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’).
This chapter focuses on the analysis of cooperation between the EC/EU1 and China using an eclectic approach which proposes that the fluctuation between bilateral and multilateral interregional cooperation process is influenced by actors’ strategic choices in pursuing a material, institutional or ideational focus in their interaction. The chapter conducts a broad analysis of the material, institutional and ideational elements of the EC-China inter-regional partnership. It contends that, in its relationship with China, the EU appeared to consistently opt for a bilateral strategy, with a priority on material interests. Using the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) as the main multilateral forum for engagement between Europe and Asia, there is little evidence to suggest that the EU pursued a multilateral strategy with China. The first part analyses the EC’s motivations for inter-regionalism. The second part observes the material, institutional and ideational influences in the EC-China bilateral and multilateral partnerships. The final part argues that active bilateralism has taken precedence in the EC’s dealings with China, while passive multilateralism remains an option for future engagement between the two.
This chapter analyzes the EU-China Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) relationship, through a double-sided perspective that considers the two partners in the mutual roles of ‘host’ and ‘home’ economies. Although many have traditionally identified China as a low-cost manufacturing location, the country has recently turned out to be an important home for multinational activity. Since internationalization of Chinese companies represents a very recent chapter in the country’s long history, this chapter first provides a brief historical overview to highlight the main steps along China open up path and clarify the role of government intervention in accelerating its global engagement. Based on recent data, the relative importance of China and the EU in the respective FDI outflows is then examined, so as to delineate the relevant trends, discuss the main findings and evaluate future perspectives.
This chapter offers and in-depth examination of the origins and the development of EU-China relations, in the context of the EU-China ‘Strategic Partnership’. The chapter looks at how contemporary, bilateral, Member State relations have formed the background to the emergence of EU policies with regard to the PRC. It places a particular focus on offering a contribution which can help in our understanding of how the actors in the EU and in China view each other. The chapter examines how perceptions which shape the contemporary EU-China relationship have been influenced by the legacies of past encounters.