Europe and China

Strategic Partners or Rivals?


Edited by Roland Vogt

ISBN : 978-988-8083-88-6

Politics, Government, Public Administration Global Connections (環球聯繫叢書)

March 2012

300 pages, 6″ x 9″, 3 b&w illus.; 8 tables

  • HK$195.00

Also available in Hardback HK$395.00

Casting new light on Sino-European relations, this volume challenges the official rhetoric of “constructive engagement” and “strategic partnership” between Europe and China, by revealing the internal and external limitations and constraints of their interaction. The contributions illustrate that Europe and China are not static, monolithic, and unitary entities. Sino-European relations are becoming a complex web of economic, diplomatic, social, and cultural interlinkages and are driven by numerous actors with often diverging interests. While trade has been a dominant factor in this relationship, Europe and China are now tied together by more than commercial exchanges. Concerns about energy and climate change, human rights and policies towards Africa, geostrategic considerations, as well as a pervasive anxiety about China’s rise in Europe are now important elements of this relationship. In the absence of common borders or strategic interests in each other’s regions, Sino-European affairs are cordial and friendly, but also remain distant and vague. The growing quantity of interactions has so far not led to a qualitative upgrade of the relationship. Both sides continue to be secondary partners to each other. Misperceptions, false expectations, and a general lack of understanding of each other’s internal drivers of policy continue to be major obstacles for improving ties between Europe and China.

Roland Vogt is assistant professor of European Studies at the University of Hong Kong.

“This volume makes an important contribution to the literature on EU-China relations, particularly with its emphasis on how rhetoric and lack of incentives on both sides create major obstacles to upgrading the relationship. Bringing together ten contributions by leading scholars and new voices, the book offers both solid scholarship and fresh insights.” —Ingrid d’Hooghe, The Netherlands Institute of International Relations “Clingendael”

“This book represents an important landmark in the modern scholarship on global politics. An impressive list of specialists provide one with an essential aid to understanding two of the most important features of global politics in the last thirty years: the rise of China to global prominence; and the emergence of the European Union as a major player in world politics. I cannot think of a single volume that I would rather place in the hands of someone seeking to understand the past, present and future significance of the multi-layered relationship than Europe and China: Strategic Partners or Rivals?” —R. Gerald Hughes, Aberystwyth University

“This useful book provides a nuanced and balanced analysis of the structural aspects of Europe-China relations.” —Gonzalo S. Paz, American University, Washington, DC, USA