How should Europe handle China?

Key policymakers discuss how the UK, Germany and their allies can coordinate their approaches while engaging with China on global issues.

Members event, Panel Recording
27 September 2023 — 6:00PM TO 7:00PM
Chatham House and Online

Event video

The image shows Petra Sigmund speaking at the event.

Germany released its first ever Strategy on China in July, setting out how it will respond to Beijing’s growing influence and assertiveness.

The foreign secretary set out the UK’s approach to China in his Mansion House speech in April. Other allies in Europe and beyond are also adjusting their approaches to China.

From supply chain dependencies to human rights, and economic coercion to the ongoing concerns around the Taiwan Strait, Germany’s strategy views China as a ‘partner, competitor and systemic rival’.

That mirrors the approach set out by UK foreign secretary James Cleverly, who argued that Britain must ‘protect’ national security from Beijing’s emerging threats, ‘align’ with key partners in the Indo-Pacific and ‘engage’ with China to maintain stable relations.

But how will the UK and Germany manage the necessary trade-offs between competition and cooperation, security and prosperity?

The panel will discuss:

  • What are the key implications to emerge from the Germany and UK China strategies?

  • How does Germany’s strategy mirror or diverge from the UK’s own China strategy and that of other key allies?

  • What are the costs of tougher policies on China?

  • What are the ultimate objectives of European China policy?

  • How does China view the shifting approaches of major European powers?

As with all member events, questions from the audience drive the conversation.

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