10 June 2010: Europe lacks vision and confidence when dealing with China, experts say
Despite the strategic partnership established between the EU and China seven years ago, ‘China does not see the European Union as a global security actor’, says guest speaker Prof. Pan Zhongqi from Fudan University, China. Although both the EU and China emphasize the need for multilateral solutions to deal with non-traditional security threats, ‘unlike the USA, the EU does not share with China such pressing concerns as the Taiwan issue and North Korea which demand close cooperation on them.’
‘The EU accounts for 22 per cent of the world’s GDP, but it lacks confidence, leadership and a vision when dealing with China,’ states Dr May-Britt Stumbaum, Head of the EU–China Project at SIPRI, ‘Europe is losing out on shaping the global agenda and is not protecting its own interests.’
Arms embargo on China—a convenient pretext
The 1989 arms embargo imposed by the EU on China remains in place. Largely symbolic, Stumbaum sees the embargo as pretext ‘for the United States to influence high-tech transfers between the EU and China; for the Chinese not to engage in a security-related strategic partnership with the EU; and for the Europeans to avoid an internal discussion on the implications of China’s rise’. Stumbaum suggests to move the discussion from the national to the EU level. ‘However, it remains questionable if the Lisbon Treaty will be able to provide the necessary framework for doing this’, she adds.
The Stockholm China Alliance consists of the China Economic Research Centre of the Stockholm School of Economics (CERC), the China Cluster of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Programme on China and Global Security of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
For information and interview requests, contact Stephanie Blenckner +46 8 655 97 47).