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The International Politics of EU-China Relations$
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David Kerr and Liu Fei

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264089

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264089.001.0001

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The EU and China: Partners in Effective Multilateralism?

The EU and China: Partners in Effective Multilateralism?

(p.54) 3 The EU and China: Partners in Effective Multilateralism?
The International Politics of EU-China Relations



British Academy

This chapter considers the EU's ambition to enmesh China in a system of effective multilateralism in pursuit of global public goods. It notes that China's position on both multilateralism and universal goods to be contingent: China favours these engagements and goals to the extent that they restrain and commit others, but is much more conservative if they require restraint or commitment on its own part. China's reservations derive mostly from the behaviour of the United States: if the world's predominant military and economic power is a contingent multilateralist, can the rising power of China do otherwise? Until there is more evidence to the contrary, this chapter concludes that China's commitment to multilateralism cannot form a ‘reliable basis for long-term EU policy planning towards China’.

Keywords:   China, universal goods, effective multilateralism, United States, EU policy planning

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