The EU, China and Their Changing Relations
This chapter deals with relations between the EU and China, in the light both of the US–China trade war, and concerns related to Chinese state surveillance, the 5G technology rollout and Huawei’s UK leak and US embargo. Both the EU and China are to build a viable trade partnership, but this needs to be dealt with in the light of controversies surrounding the behaviour of the Chinese state, with regard to everything from human rights to intellectual property theft—as well as the escalating trade tariff wars initiated by President Trump. Crucially, as argued in this chapter, how the EU aligns in this conflict will determine its relationship with both powers. Furthermore, the strain on the World Trade Organization will only increase if the US–China trade war intensifies. American tariffs and restrictions on technology exports to China—combined with Chinese retaliation—raise the prospect that the world is moving towards a trading system built around rival blocs.