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China’s challenge to Europe and the U.S.

    • Rome
    • 11 March 2005

          This meeting, organized as an informal discussion among a small number of European and American experts, focussed in particular on the problem of the EU embargo on arms sales to China, in the broader context of economic and security challenges currently presented by the rapidly growing economic and demographic giant. Of the various issues that emerged, two regarding domestic policy stand out: political reforms and human rights, crucial criteria in evaluating Beijing’s progress since Tienanmen in 1989 – which gave birth to the embargo in the first place. The debate highlighted several significant differences between the European and the American approaches to China: the US tends to worry more about China’s growth in terms of security while the EU tends to put their faith in dynamic economic evolution, thereby leading to different recipes for channelling China’s power. In any case, all participants agreed that a continuous and broad strategic dialogue must be maintained between the US and the EU as regards all of Eastern Asia.

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