In recent weeks Beijing has both won victories and suffered defeats during important summits and dialogues with France and Italy, as well as the European Union.
Despite the established comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the EU, mutual trust is still lacking.
Brexit and the continued momentum of populist movements across the continent have rendered the future of the European Union (EU) uncertain. As anti-establishment leaders gain more influence, many observers worry about the direction of European politics.
President Xi Jinping travels to Italy and France this month for his first overseas trip of 2019. His visit comes soon after the European Commission labeled China a “systemic rival” and “economic competitor.”
China has been supportive of a united, stable, and prosperous Europe in its effort to promote a multipolar world order. Even during the EU’s most difficult period during the European debt crisis, China stood by and invested in crucial member states.
The rise of populism in Europe and United States has had a pronounced impact on domestic politics and foreign policy, as seen in Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.
How are European nations balancing the opportunities and consequences of increased Chinese investment and influence in the region?
How will the shifting dynamics in Europe impact China’s future engagement with the region as well as inter-European relations and the international system more broadly?
As China’s influence grows, Europe starts to have an increasing quest for reciprocity and is turning to realist engagement with China.
As Europe becomes a preferred playing field for Chinese foreign direct investment, leaders of bloc nations have been drawn into a debate on the creation of a long-anticipated screening mechanism.