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Europe in an Asian century: Europe between the superpowers: China and Europe: opportunities or dangers?

By Odd Arne Westad


Just when parts of the European integration project seem to be in significant amounts of trouble, Chinese leaders are beginning to open their eyes to the need for more in-depth cooperation with both the Union itself and with individual European countries. After years of relative neglect, when China’s main priorities have been the United States, the eastern Asian region, and the main developing economies (roughly in that order), Europe is now coming into fashion for discussion in Beijing, both as opportunity and threat. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that the global financial crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed have shown how dependent the Chinese economy is on European markets. The second reason is that some Chinese analysts have begun believing that Europe, in spite of its internal instability, may serve as a genuine balancer in international affairs during a period of US decline, helping smooth the transition to a more multipolar world. There are both possibilities and challenges in these perceptions, but there is little doubt that for some time at least China’s interest in Europe will be at an all-time high

Topics: JN Political institutions (Europe), JQ Political institutions Asia, JZ International relations
Publisher: LSE IDEAS, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:46823
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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