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Georg Wiessala

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’).

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Pradeep Taneja, Georg Wiessala and John Wilson

The European Union and China

Interests and Dilemmas

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Edited by Georg Wiessala, John Wilson and Pradeep Taneja

This volume brings together the best of contemporary critical analysis of EU-China relations, offered here by an international team of policy analysts, academics and practitioners. The fifteen chapters assembled in this book represent a wide-ranging investigation of the development and framework of EU-China relations and its wider geo-political context. This includes an examination of key areas of concern, such as human rights, economic cooperation, energy security, sports, maritime safety and media policy. Many aspects of EU-China relations covered in this title have, until now, not been available for systematic scrutiny by a wider public. Importantly, this collection presents an examination of the significance of China’s relations with selected global partners – such as the US, Russia, India and Central Asia – for the further evolution of Sino-EU interaction. It should be read by anyone interested in EU foreign policies, the future of China-EU strategic partnership, China’s place in the world, and the development of a multi-polar world order.