The debate on decoupling from China has started in Europe. The war in Ukraine, the ever-increasing regret of reliance on Russia for energy, and the lessons learned when it comes to dependencies on authoritarian states have changed the views among the Europeans and made them more prudent in engaging with China. Once only named a huge market with great potential, it now is also perceived as a systemic rival. China’s ever more assertive foreign policy and the US’s hardening position push the Europeans to reconsider their strategy towards the country. However, unlike Russia, the interconnectedness with China is very high, meaning that changes will have far-reaching consequences on trade flows, value chains, industrial sectors, regional specialisation. Some European giants – the German car indistry for example – have vital ties to Chinese market. It is a case where economic interests clash with geopolitical considerations. Therefore, a carefully calibrated strategy is so-far needed.
With this roundtable, CEPS will gather experts from China, a US think tank, and the EU to discuss the way forward on the relations between the Western world and China. Discussions will be introduced by experts, to be followed-up by a debate with participants:
- Erik Berglöf, Chief economist, AIIB, Beijing
- Cora Jungbluth, Senior Expert in International Trade and Investment, Bertelsmann Stiftung
- Matthew Goodman, SVP, CSIS, Washington
- Maria Martin-Prat, Deputy Director-General, DG Trade, European Commission
- Andreas Kopp, Senior fellow, CEPS (by Zoom)
- Ilke Toygur, Professor of Geopolitics of Europe, University Carlos III of Madrid & Senior Associate, CSIS Europe, Russia and Eurasia Program