Vortrag · Hamburg

11.07.2024 · 11:00
The Paradigm Shift in EU-China Relations: Understanding the EU’s Current Strategy Towards China

This session explores the ‘paradigm-shift’ in EU-China relations, focusing on the de-risking strategy in response to China´s growing influence and changing global dynamics. The session examines how the EU has navigated deteriorating US-China relations over the past decade, highlighting the evolution from economic collaboration in the 1990s to the current tensions driven by China´s assertive foreign policy under Xi Jinping. The session delves into the roots of this paradigm shift, tracing China´s evolving self-perception and its implications for global power dynamics. The EU maintains a “tripartite” strategy, originally outlined in its 2019 Strategic Outlook, seeing China as a “partner”, but also as an economic “competitor” and a “systemic rival”. China’s former State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has described the European approach as suffering from “cognitive dissonance”. As a result, and as demonstrated by the failure of the 2022 EU-China Summit, the two parties are now operating within two different frameworks, and constructive cooperation has become increasingly difficult. This session aims to contribute to a functional conceptualisation of the shift in the relationship and on ways in which the EU and China can work with each other to tackle global issues.


Alice Politi is a PhD Candidate in International Relations at King’s College London. She is also an Eisenhower Defense Fellow at the NATO Defense College and a Policy Advisor at the UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. Her doctoral research focuses on EU-China relations during the presidency of Xi Jinping, with a focus on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. More broadly, her research concentrates on China’s geopolitical behavior and foreign policy under Xi Jinping. Alice has previously collaborated as a Policy Consultant with the UK FCDO and participated in projects with the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.


Dr. Sebastian Biba is Research Fellow at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt.


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