Research progress in Chinese perceptions of the EU: a critical review and methodological reflection

  • Li ZhangEmail author
Original Paper


With the increasing importance of the EU, China and the strategic partnership of these two in international politics, scholars and politicians have increased their interest in learning how the EU has been represented and viewed in China. Understanding Chinese perceptions of the EU contributes to better mutual understanding and is important for further developing a positive bilateral relationship. From 2005, when the first scientific study on this topic was conducted; to 2017, over a dozen projects, many fully or partly funded by the European Commission, have been undertaken by European and Chinese scholars. This paper reviews the state of play in the research on how the Chinese media represent and how China perceives the EU. It compares and synthesises the studies and their findings. It argues that the studies and projects have made important scholarly contributions to academic debate and been helpful in providing policy recommendations. However, although their findings do not contradict one another, they are not consistent either. It makes the comparison to track perceptual changes difficult. A methodological reflection on perception studies is discussed, closing with recommendations for future research areas.


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Omnicom Building, School of Journalism and CommunicationTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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