For many years, China-EU relations have been driven singularly by mercantilism, but diplomatic engagement between Beijing and Brussels increasingly features a geopolitical component. In this podcast with Paul Haenle, Carnegie-Europe Director Jan Techau discusses the challenges facing the European Union’s integration project as well as the changing nature of China-EU economic and political ties.

Techau said that EU foreign policy is a big unkept promise of Europe’s integration project, because disparate interests and policies among EU member states has made it difficult for Europe to project a singular, cohesive foreign-policy agenda. According to Techau, this dynamic is relevant to Europe’s debate about whether to grant market economy status to China, an issue European countries disagree on. China’s new Belt and Road initiative demonstrates that while economics and the search for new markets still bring Brussels and Beijing together, China’s growing influence in Europe, compared to that of the United States, poses a challenge for Brussels and could pull China and the EU apart.

Jan Techau

Jan Techau is the director of Carnegie Europe, the European center of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Techau works on EU integration and foreign policy, transatlantic affairs, and German foreign and security policy.

Paul Haenle

Paul Haenle is the director of the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. Prior to joining Carnegie, he served from June 2007 to June 2009 as the director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolian Affairs on the National Security Council staffs of former president George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.