China and the EU: Conceptual Gaps in Soft Power

  • Anna Michalski


As the international system is changing to accommodate the rise of China, bilateral relations among the big global actors are arguably the most important individual elements of the emerging world order. As a consequence of the reconfiguration of the international system and the emergence of new players, bilateral relations have tended to take the shape of inter-regional relations as aptly illustrated in the relationship between the EU and China. A more complex and diverse international system puts new demands on policymakers and commentators to gain a better understanding of the motivations that guide the interests pursued by global actors. At the same time, international interaction, particularly within the framework of international regimes, gives rise to convergence in rules and regulation, administrative structures, behaviour and ideas. But socialization and ideational convergence may mask deep-seated differences in worldviews and complicate rather than facilitate relations between strategic partners. In recent times, a number of policymakers in China and Europe have multiplied their calls to improve communication and intensify people-to-people contacts in order to improve knowledge about each other’s countries.


International Relation Chinese Communist Party Soft Power Lisbon Treaty Chinese Respondent 
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© Anna Michalski 2012

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  • Anna Michalski

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