Business Briefs

Rising China: EU Perspectives and Responses

A “Rising China” has been a major, but under-analyzed development in the international system. Speculating about what a rival Chinese superpower means for the international order has become common practice. The European Union is no exception in this: China-related issues (such as trade, human rights, development policy and the export of military equipment) have increasingly moved up the EU’s agenda, and in the last decade the EU has pushed hard for an intensification and improvement in Sino-European relations. Economic factors have driven this increased awareness, although lately the EU has attempted to give the dialogue a greater political component. The current recession might have its repercussions in this process, as both the EU and China see economic contraction in the short term and potentially into the medium term as well, but ultimately these economic giants will remain poaching on each other’s territory.

This brief focuses on the economic and political consequences of the shifting dynamic between the EU and China. First, it touches upon the impact of Chinese export-led growth on EU industries. Second, it focuses on the consequences of the growth of a Chinese middle class and of the Chinese push into former European protectorates in Africa. Third, it assesses developments in EU policy towards China and how these differ from the American response to China’s challenge to its hegemonic power.

  • Impact on EU Industries: Loosing the Competition
  • Trade and Human Rights
  • A Growing Chinese Middle Class
  • China in Africa
  • EU Policy Development Towards China
  • Conclusion


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