The China Quarterly



Research Article

China's Diplomatic Relations with the States of Europe


Eberhard  Sandschneider 

More than a decade after the end of the Cold War, both the European Union (EU) and the People's Republic of China (PRC) are usually regarded as important political and economic actors in a globalizing international environment. While the United States as the third important partner is heavily divided in its China policy between proponents of a policy of containment and their opponents favouring engagement, European countries have without exception followed a policy of “constructive engagement” towards China. The PRC in return is strengthening its relations with Europe, seeking not only improved trade relations, but also a deepened political dialogue and intensified co-operation. Apart from policy statements, however, Europe is far from implementing a consolidated and integrated China policy.