A critical analysis of EU-China relations: towards improved mutual understanding
Abstract: The present-day relationship between Europe and China, emerging from past centuries of Chinese hegemony in East Asia, European colonial influence, and recent decades of ever-increasing global economic interdependence, is a complicated one. This article is an attempt to clarify the current state of EU-China relations based on a critical analysis of recent developments and emerging trends within a framework of international relations (IR) theory. It compares Chinese attitudes to the EU with European attitudes towards the People’s Republic of China, in order to highlight areas in which the approaches of the two sides tend to be at cross purposes. A clearer understanding by each side of the other’s perspective can pave the way to improved relations and avoid impasses, confusion and head off potential confl icts of interest before they appear.
Keywords: EU-China relations, People’s Republic of China (PRC), international relations (IR) theory, international critical theory