On 18 May, SIPRI hosted a webinar in connection with the launch of the SIPRI Policy Paper ‘China–EU Connectivity in an Era of Geopolitical Competition’.
The long-standing relationship between China and the European Union (EU) is being subsumed into a broader geopolitical competition between major power centres. Alongside cooperation, elements of competition and rivalry have been sharpened by a re-evaluation of the bilateral relationship by EU actors. Areas of cooperation have included China’s involvement in the EU’s internal connectivity projects—specifically its transport and digital networks. The policy paper examines this cooperation and assesses its prospects.
Following a presentation of the paper, the discussion focused on the importance of connectivity, the challenges in EU–China relations stemming from political divergence, the new sensitivities in the EU regarding the security implications of Chinese investments, and the implications of this evolution on decisions taken on connectivity.
Dan Smith, SIPRI Director, and Dr Ian Anthony, Director of SIPRI's European Security Programme, were joined by Jing Men, Professor at the School of Foreign Languages, Dalian University of Technology in China, and Asad Beg, former Adviser to the Ambassador at Large for Connectivity at the European External Action Service in Brussels.
The webinar was part of a wider research project exploring the dynamic relationship between the EU and China, as well as the challenges and opportunities for better cooperation on connectivity. As part of the project, SIPRI published two additional papers, ‘EU Security Perspectives in an Era of Connectivity: Implications for Relations with China’ and ‘EU Security Perspectives in an Era of Connectivity: Implications for Relations with China’ in February 2020.
Watch the video recording here.