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Understanding EU-China Relations: An Uncertain Partnership in the Making Xiudian Dai

Research Paper 1/2006 ISSN No. 0968 9281

Abstract After three decades of evolution, EU-China relations reached a new milestone: the EU became China’s largest trading partner while China became the EU’s second biggest trading partner by March 2004. Although much has already been said about the growing importance of the EU and China as global players, academic study on EUChina relations per se remains a somewhat neglected field. The main purpose of this paper is to try and contribute to the understanding about the nature of EU-China relations by asking such questions as: how important is China to the EU? What are the main factors that are affecting the bilateral relations between the EU and China? The scarcity of academic literature in this field is compensated by adopting a case studies approach and utilising a variety of sources such as public policy documents, current affairs reports and the author’s face-to-face interviews recently undertaken in China.


About the Author Xiudian Dai is senior lecturer in international political economy at the University of Hull. His main research interests are EU-China relations, the politics and political economy of new media technologies, in particular the internet with particular reference to the EU and China. Xiudian is author for Public Policy, Corporate Strategy and New Technologies (Oxford: Pergamon, 1990) and The Digital Revolution and Governance (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000).

Contact Details: Dr Xiudian Dai Department of Politics and International Studies University of Hull Hull HU6 7RX UK Tel: +44-1482 465594 Fax: +44-1482 466208 E-mail: x.dai@hull.ac.uk © 2006 Xiudian Dai


Understanding EU-China Relations: An Uncertain Partnership in the Making Xiudian Dai ∗

Introduction The year 2005 marked the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the European Union (EU) and the...