Chapter 9 Divide and conquer? Europe, China and policy coherence
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This paper examines the relationship between the European Union (EU) and emerging powers in the global political economy, with particular reference to China. It seeks to understand why, given the divergent foreign economic policy interests of member states, the EU has managed to forge ‘strategic partnerships’ with emerging powers, and why the operation of those partnerships is constrained by ‘domestic’ influences. The importance of these interests varies among member states, and the chapter explores the case of China in order to expose some of the manifestations and implications of this variation by focusing on foreign investment, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and Brexit. With this context, the chapter draws on the complex interdependence literature to compare the degree of divergence among member state foreign economic policy interests with respect to China.

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