Like other powers, the UK will have to define a balance between economic and political considerations in its relationship with China. That balance, at present, seems some way off.
Public debate in EU member states can enhance national and EU policy-making on China, but analysis of the 2019 Dutch policy paper on China and the surrounding debate suggests lack of strategic thinking and resolve on the member-state level may undermine cohesion and policy effectiveness on the EU level.
The coronavirus crisis has demonstrated the necessity of global cooperation and functioning multilateralism. But as Europe seeks to redefine its approach to China, will the special relationship between China and Germany be an advantage or a liability?
Like Made in China 2025, Germany’s Industry 4.0 is a vision of economic transformation. Unlike the Chinese plan, however, Industry 4.0 was never top-down, and it has prioritized both broad societal participation and cross-European cooperation over visions of national dominance.
The organization and drive shown by China’s online youth in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic was an inspiring glimpse at the potential young Chinese have to assert themselves. But these actions disguise a deeper vacuum of social values in China.
Multilateralism has been central to pledges for future European-Chinese cooperation, particularly as the US has opted out of multilateral institutions. But look more closely and you find that the EU and China have sharply contrasting notions of what multilateralism actually means.