torsdag 9. april 2020

What Does the Coronavirus Mean for EU-China Relations?

2020 promised to be an especially consequential year for the EU-China relationship, but three highly anticipated summits have been thrown into uncertainty, and diplomacy between Europe and China is now completely consumed by the coronavirus crisis.

Over the past several weeks, China has tried to claim a positive role in handling the pandemic through “mask diplomacy”—shipping medical equipment and expertise to disease-stricken areas of Europe. That has generated praise from some European leaders, notably from Italy and EU accession candidate Serbia, who have simultaneously expressed frustration about a lack of support from Brussels. Germany, France, and the EU Parlament, aghast at the challenge to European solidarity, have countered by highlighting the work they are doing to help fight the coronavirus in Europe.

What will happen next? How is the Coronavirus pandemic impacting EU-China relations? And how might it shape the relationship in the years to come?