President Trump has called the future of NATO and the transatlantic alliance into question. China, meanwhile, could benefit from a U.S. retreat as it continues to promote its Belt and Road Initiative.
In light of the recent rise of populism and the refugee crisis, the future of European integration will depend on the results of imminent elections in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
While China’s infrastructure and trade initiative, One Belt One Road, has garnered interest in several Asian countries, fewer European countries have signed on.
China’s One Belt, One Road project aims to allow Beijing to influence the rules governing the global economy. That is a challenge to which Europeans need to respond.
China’s investments into the Greek port of Piraeus has opened further opportunities to expand Sino-Hellenic relations.
The European Union is facing a number of challenges that could impact the block’s relationships with China, including the refugee crisis, a rise in populist political parties, and Brexit.
If China and the UK can reach a trade deal, both sides would have increased leverage over the EU.
Transporting Chinese goods to Europe by rail is far less profitable than sea transport, yet China subsidizes it to achieve its geostrategic goal of making a cluster of countries in the wide Eurasian space from China to Europe dependent on the Chinese economy and capital.
While Chinese investments could increase the odds of Greece staying within the Eurozone, it will not resolve the structural problems that demand political consensus from within the EU.
China-EU commercial relations are increasingly asymmetric and spontaneous, which presents opportunities and challenges to the overall relationship.