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Dr George N. Tzogopoulos, CIFE Senior Research Fellow and Advisor on EU-China Relations

"Relations between the EU and China have taken on increased significance. The EU constitutes the biggest market for China and China the second biggest one for the EU. The 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation constitutes the institutional basis for collaboration between Brussels and Beijing on peace and security, prosperity, sustainable development, and people-to-people exchanges. Accordingly, annual EU-China Summits are always anticipated with great interest as they bring leaders from the two sides together in an effort to discuss new opportunities and ponder on existing differences.

Moreover, in recent months the EU and China have been faced with a new challenge which goes beyond the scope of Sino-European relations themselves. This is the relative impact of Donald Trump’s administration on global governance. Whereas during the years of Barack Obama the US was a predictable world superpower, this has not proved to be the case during the first months of Trump’s term. In that regard, the June 2017 19th EU-China Summit took place at a critical moment for international affairs. In particular, Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement has left many questions unanswered as to how international cooperation will evolve under his presidency. His recent statement has been negatively framed across the world. At the same time, however, other powers – including the EU and China – need to assume more responsibilities and even take over Washington’s role."

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Tzogopoulos CIFE EU China US Trump 2017