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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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EU–China Security Relations: The ‘Softer’ Side

EU–China Security Relations: The ‘Softer’ Side

(p.152) (p.153) 8 EU–China Security Relations: The ‘Softer’ Side
The International Politics of EU-China Relations



British Academy

This chapter states the question starkly: between two such mismatched partners, is it not natural to wonder whether someone is being fooled and someone profiting unduly. The discussion then proceeds to an audit of Chinese–European interaction in areas of security restraint, whether defined in terms of issues (demilitarization, non-proliferation, confidence-building, and peace-keeping) or levels (Asian sub-regional and regional, inter-regional, and global). It concludes that the China–Europe security relationship ‘works’ because of its limits: items on the agenda are limited; China's accommodation of EU goals is limited; the process is limited in its functionalism; and the limits of the EU's ‘soft engagement’ are not revealed because of the ‘hard engagement’ taking place in different parts. Yet it would not be good if hard engagement stood alone; so Europe should intensify its strategy of mutual binding.

Keywords:   security restraint, mutual binding, EU, China, hard engagement, demilitarization

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