The evolution of EU-China relations

By Wolfgang Deckers and Daniel Wagner
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, February 22, 2010
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1. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China’s EU Policy Paper, October 2003,

2. First phase of relations (1975-1988): limited strategic relations due to China’s domestic ‘two-line’ struggle and fading SU ‘hegemonism’. Second phase (1989-1992): the Tiananmen Incident. Third phase (1992-1996): Single European Act, lure of the Chinese Market and Human Rights. Fourth phase (1996-2000): Strategic Partnership. Fifth phase (2001-2008): Constructive or Competitive Engagement, Multipolarity, Peaceful Rise/Peaceful Development. Sixth phase (2008 to present): Partners and Rivals, China Fever.

3. Ulrich Beck, World at Risk, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2008.

4. For other points regarding an action agenda for China and the EU, see ”A Compact Between China and the EU”, in the Centre for European Reform, at:

5. Mary-Britt Stumbaum, Opportunities and Limits of EU-China Security Cooperation, International Spectator, Volume 41, Number 3, September 2007.

6. Nicola Casarini, The Evolution of the China Relationship: From Constructive Engagement to Strategic Partnership, European Union Institute for Security Studies, Number 64, October 2006, p. 22.

7. See Deng’s Foreign Policy Principles of Twenty-Four Characters: “observe calmly, secure our position, cope with affairs calmly, bide our time and conceal our capabilities, be good at maintaining a low profile, never claim leadership, make some contributions”, Speech at the Special Session of the U.N. General Assembly,

8. See China’s ranking of other countries according to technological power, individual power capital, capital power, information power, natural resources, military power, GDP, foreign policy power and governmental dynamism, in David Shambaugh, China Eyes Europe in the world, in Shambaugh D. Sandschneider, E. and Shou H., China-Europe Relations, Routledge, London, 2008, p. 130.


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