This year, China and the European Union celebrate the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. Once marginal, their partnership has become one of the world’s most important. Trade between Beijing and Brussels now exceeds €1.2 billion a day. Their level of interdependence is such that China’s market meltdown this summer was felt in Europe immediately.
The two sides are currently discussing ways to link China’s ‘one belt, one road’ (OBOR) initiative with the European Commission president Jean-Paul Juncker’s plan for jobs and growth to boost two-way investment and commerce.
Closer Sino-European relations, however, risk weakening the transatlantic bond which was strained in March by the decision of Britain to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a founding member despite United States pressure to stay out. Germany, France and Italy were quick to follow the British lead.