January 8, 2014
I might be preaching to the converted, given that the host website, Euractiv, attracts EU-interested readers in the first place. Moreover, is there anyone nowadays who doubts the growing importance of China in global politics?
Hence, a blog on “The EU, China…and what‘s in between” – the latter referring to EU-China relations – does not seem to require much explanation about its right to exist.
Nonetheless, here are my top-five reasons and motivations to start this blog:
1) International relations are increasingly determined by economics and finance rather than ‘classical’ factors like security matters, distribution of capabilities etc. The EU and China have the largest trade relationship in the world. Probably the No. 1 argument why we should care.
2) The European Union is no longer just a trading bloc and its role in the world is gaining importance (yes, you heard me, despite the never-ending crisis 😉 ). Due to globalization and the emerging powers (the well-known BRICS), this role cannot be sufficiently explained by only looking at Europe’s direct neighbourhood but needs to be expanded.
3) The analysis of China’s international relations has been dominated by Sino-US relations and Sino-Japanese relations. Not least due to 1), limiting oneself to these two relationships is insufficient to understand China’s role in the world today.
4) There are many issues that both Europe and China need to tackle: ageing population, youth employment, climate change, energy security to name but a few. For all these issues, there is room for cooperation between Chinese and Europeans and mutual learning. We just need to make an effort to understand each other.
5) To realise 4), we need to write, read, listen and exchange. This blog should make a humble contribution to this end.
I am a political scientist, originally from Germany. I have lived, studied and worked in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, the UK, and in mainland China. I am now working as Assistant Professor and Academic Coordinator at the Shanghai-Campus of a French business school, Ecole supérieure des sciences commerciales d’Angers. My research interests are – surprise, surprise – EU politics and foreign policy, Chinese politics and society, and EU-China relations.
I will try to regularly blog on domestic issues (if something like that still exists…) in both Europe (i.e. mostly but not exclusively Brussels and the member states), in China, and on the relationship between these two entities which are key players in contemporary global politics. I am more than happy to engage in a debate with you so please leave a comment or email me.
Since we all want to be ever better informed while having less and less time to spend to actually get informed, I will try to limit myself to about 400-500 words per post. As for this first post: check! (473 words ;-))
All best/ 祝好，
Author : fraukeaustermann