On 15th May 2019, ESSCA School of Management, Shanghai and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies organized a research seminar entitled ‘Europe Meets the China Challenge: Explaining Recent European Union Moves on China’ with Dr. Miguel Otero-lglesias, Senior Analyst of Elcano Royal Institute of Spain and Research Associate at the ESSCA EU-Asia Institute. Some 40 participants coming from academia and business joined this seminar.
Dr. Otero-lglesias presented his interpretation of EU-China Relations in the age of resurgent trade frictions and pointed out that the European Union had toughened its stance on China in recent months. This included the EU designating China a “strategic competitor” in March 2019 and concerns about investment reciprocity and market access. This is mirroring the increased tensions between the United States (US) and China with regards to trade and market access to one of China´s technology giants Huawei. At the same time, Chinese investment in Europe remain important and as the first G7 nation, Italy decided to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Are these moves as sudden as they seem? Has the EU-China relationship shifted decisively? Dr. Otero-lglesias pointed out that these moves are not as sudden as many people think. Policy formulation had been going on since a long time while member states are still not always aligned on how to respond to a changing global landscape. He also pointed out that various member states do not sufficiently allocate resources to develop coherent relations with China. In conclusion, it can be retained that EU-China relations will be influenced by the ongoing woes in international trade and to ensure continued cooperation, the partners need to engage in an open and honest dialogue about priorities and concerns.
Dr. Miguel Otero-lglesias inspired everyone with his empirical analysis followed by a structured exchange and discussion with several attendees asking questions on the future relationship between the EU and China.
Miguel Otero-Iglesias is Senior Analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute and Research Associate at the EU-Asia Institute at ESSCA School of Management. Previously he was Assistant Professor in International Political Economy at ESSCA in Paris, Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Oxford, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at LSE and Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, where earned his PhD in International Political Economy. He has also been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Rio de Janeiro as well as the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.
The European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) is a gathering of China experts from a selection of European policy research institutes. The members of ETNC decided to meet in a different capital every six months and the Mercator Institute of China Studies (MERICS) joined Elcano and Ifri in their efforts to move the project forward. ESCCA School of Management in Budapest had held the ETNC meeting at April 2016.
Free to check the latest publications:
- Political Values in Europe-China Relations (December 2018)
- Chinese Investment in Europe: A country-level approach (December 2017)
- Europe and China’s New Silk Roads (December 2016)
- Mapping Europe-China Relations: A bottom-up approach (November 2015)