Note n°11 of the China Observatory, by Pr. Kerry Brown
Since a period of mutual idealism in the early 2000s, the European Union (EU) and China have used their disappointments in the period over 2003 to 2016 to craft a relationship which is now much more pragmatic and structured on tangible outcomes. It is based on a clear understanding by each of the relationship’s value as well as their goals. This article looks at the way the relationship has developed through a series of high level strategic documents, notably the two White Papers issued by the Chinese State Council, and the two Communications issued by the EU Commission in 2006 and 2016. It shows the progress these documents attest to in the relationship, but also looks at the potentially highly destabilizing impact that the United Kingdom’s attempts to exit the EU following the June 23rd 2016 referendum. While the foundations for EU-China relations have never been more soundly thought through and deliberated on, therefore, the future between both still looks challenging and potentially highly complex.
- The early 2000s – the Era of Mutual Idealism
- Post 2009 – The Dawn of Realism
- June 2016 Brexit: A Shocking Blow