EU-China trade relations are well developed but, beyond trade in goods, many other economic interactions remain under-developed. An EU–China trade deal could be a platform for addressing differences and facilitating further investment, focused on opening up each other’s service sector.

With US-China relations, previous American administrations have attempted to bring China into the US-led international liberal economic system. In contrast, under an ‘America First’ slogan, the Trump administration has demanded more direct benefits from international cooperation while tolerating fewer rewards for others.

The South China Sea - which carries many different names in different countries - contains huge fisheries that underpin the food security of millions in Southeast Asia, and the seabed is believed to contain vast oil and gas reserves. The sea and its mostly uninhabited islands are subject to competing claims of sovereignty by several countries, and its control is thought to be crucial for China's international positioning and its relationship with the United States and allies in the region.