mandag 22. april 2019

Is Europe Finally Rising to the China Challenge?

Earlier this month, EU-China leaders met in Brussels for their annual summit. The tone for the meeting had been set by a series of EU policy statements, characterized by a hardening tone vis-à-vis China – a policy shift grown out of mounting European frustrations over China’s reluctance to deliver on commitments entered into in the past. European leaders were pleased over the joint summit statement, in which China acknowledged the need to address European concerns over its industrial policy, but the true victory for the EU lies in the timetable for some of the measures that China endorsed, as well as in the remarkable unity with which the member states acted.

This unity allowed the EU negotiators to take a tough approach, even threatening to leave the talks on a summit statement if their Chinese counterparts were unwilling to make genuine headway on some of the longstanding irritants straining the Sino-European relationship: involuntary technology transfers, an industrial policy heavy on subsidies, and the lack of market access for European companies.