The EU’s disunity regarding China results in a lack of coherent strategy. The EU’s strong dependence on the Chinese market and FDIs discourage European leaders from decoupling with China. Simultaneously, the EU’s decreasing strategic autonomy in favour of the US impedes on the implementation of a strong EU-China partnership. Finally, the EU’s paradigm shift through Global Gateway is unlikely to be sufficient to compete with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Key Judgement 1: Due to its high economic dependency on China, the EU is unlikely to cut economic ties with Beijing in the next 12 months.
Key Judgement 2: The EU-China strategic partnership is highly likely to be constrained by geopolitical tensions in the next 12 months.
Key Judgement 3: While the EU tries to compete with China over energy resources in Africa, Beijing’s domination through the BRI is likely to continue over 12 months.