Palabras clave:EU-China Relations, Post-pandemic Era, Normative Power, Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Systemic Rival
EU-China relations in the post-COVID-19 era:Towards a multi-faceted China policy
After the outbreak of the COVID-19, due to China’s official opaque epidemic prevention policies and the operation of misinformation, the European political atmosphere began to change its attitude towards China, which has caused a huge impact on the diplomatic relations between China and EU countries.
After that, the two sides fell into a low ebb in bilateral relations due to disputes over human rights issues and Huawei 5G wireless network construction. The relationship between the EU and China, which was originally unwilling to take sides in the US-China trade war, has also gradually drifted away, and EU adopted a more skeptical attitude towards China’s rise and the so-called “China Model”.
In the past, China has strongly defended human rights issues and regarded it as the bottom line of bilateral relations between Europe and China, but now many European countries have strongly questioned China’s misconduct. The current EU-China relationship includes three different aspects of cooperation, competition and confrontation, namely, partner, competitor and rival. The EU’s multi-faceted China policy seems to be a foregone conclusion. As for the relationship between the two sides, it involves how the EU and China view and resolve differences themselves, and how to prevent differences in values such as human rights from hindering cooperation.
In general, although there are still some disputes and contradictions in the current EU-China relations, in the long run, strengthening cooperation will still be the mainstream. It not only involves the global strategic layout of both parties, but also conforms to mutual interests.