Analyses | 30 April 2007

The European Union and China

In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Roberto Menotti of the Aspen Institute Italia examines the European Union's policy responses to the rise of China. The EU is a newcomer to East Asian affairs, but its stake in the region is growing rapidly in light of China's economic clout. 

Roberto Menotti

  • Roberto Menotti

In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Roberto Menotti of the Aspen Institute Italia examines the European Union's policy responses to the rise of China. The EU is a newcomer to East Asian affairs, but its stake in the region is growing rapidly in light of China's economic clout. 

Roberto Menotti

  • Roberto Menotti
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Executive Summary

The European approach to China's rise differs profoundly from that of the US, due to geopolitical realities and a general belief in the benign effects of economic interdependence. Roberto Menotti argues, however, that the EU has so far failed to pursue a coherent common policy, as seen in the debate in 2004-2005 over Europe's decision to revoke the arms ban on China. He suggests that one problem of the European approach has been the fuzzy distinction between multilateralism (an international methodology) and multipolarity (a particular type of international system).

Roberto Menotti is Senior Research Fellow in the International Programs at Aspen Institute Italia in Rome.