After the 2008 financial crisis, the EU’s approach towards China shifted from overconfidence in European normative power to an embrace of unconditional economic engagement with China.
The EU policy of de-risking is critically important, but it needs to be carefully considered, managed, and communicated to China.
US-China tensions and American debates on China impact the EU’s approach. Nevertheless, there are significant differences between European and US positions on China irrespective of which party holds power in the US.
China’s position on Russia’s war of aggression is a make-or-break issue for the EU. By actively enabling Russia’s invasion, China is harming its own long-term interests in Europe and globally.
It is in Europe’s interests to avoid framing current international dynamics in terms of “the West and the rest”. Although this discourse may be popular domestically, there is a danger of it becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.