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EU Security Perspectives in an Era of Connectivity: Implications for Relations with China

Cover EU Security Perspectives in an Era of Connectivity
Publisher: SIPRI
SIPRI, Stockholm:
February, 2020

This SIPRI Insights Paper assesses EU security perspectives on connectivity, alongside and in relation to its evolving relationship with China. The EU’s relations with China have undergone an important shift in recent years, with a strengthened emphasis by the EU on the challenges to bilateral cooperation. In addition, since 2014, EU and EU member states’ security perspectives have undergone a wider reassessment, one that has increased the prominence of the military dimensions of connectivity, including military mobility, in EU security planning. The EU and China are currently pursuing synergies between their separate connectivity initiatives, namely the Belt and Road Initiative and the Connecting Europe programme. However, there remain barriers to sustainable cooperation that will need to be addressed between them moving forward. This Insights Paper outlines a number of those security concerns from the EU perspective, within the transport and digital sectors specifically.


I. Introduction   

II. The changing dynamics of EU–China relations

III. Challenges and risks associated with EU–China connectivity   

IV. The influence of military factors on EU connectivity

V. Instruments to enhance EU security in the era of connectivity

VI. Conclusions  


Dr Ian Anthony was the Director of SIPRI’s European Security Programme.
Dr Jiayi Zhou is a Researcher in the SIPRI Conflict, Peace and Security Programme.
Fei Su is a Researcher in the SIPRI China and Asia Security Programme.