Increasingly At Odds: What’s Shaping the EU-China Relationship?

The EU’s relations with China have long been complex. With China’s influence expanding globally and the U.S. increasingly viewing Beijing as its primary competitor, the EU and its member states have choices to make, choices further complicated by China’s close ties to Russia and the role it might yet play in the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine. Beijing, for its part, also faces choices as it continues to build up ties with Moscow  and maintain trade with the EU and its members. Finally, Beijing’s relationship to  Moscow could make it one of the more viable prospective peacemakers in Ukraine – if China really thinks that is in its interest . 

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson are joined by Janka Oertel, director of the Asia Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations, to shed light on the intricate web of goals and realities of EU-China relations. They talk about the EU's changing view of China over time, how united member states are in their policy toward China and how Beijing views its relations with Europe. They also explore how the EU is positioning itself with regard to Washington’s increasingly hawkish China policy.  Also on the agenda: China's perspective on Russia's war against Ukraine, Beijing’s potential leverage over Russia and the war’s impact on the future of China-EU relations.

For more in-depth analysis of the topics discussed in this episode, check out our regional pages on China as well as Europe and Central Asia.

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