Spurred by a growing trade relationship as well as China’s desire to build a more multipolar world and the EU’s aspiration to play a more active and independent role in international affairs, the two sides have established a close economic and political partnership. However, the EU is a political body that is both complex and rather weak. The majority of EU member states continue to see the United States more as a close strategic partner than as a superpower that the EU should counterbalance. Moreover, the EU’s relationship with China has become more difficult to handle due to a deepening trade deficit and lack of progress by China on human rights. Thus, the EU’s China policy will remain based on the lowest common denominator of its member states’ China policies, whereas its close military relations with the United States will probably continue to affect the strategic dimension of EU-China relations and negate the possibility of a genuine strategic triangle emerging.


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pp. 11-38
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