Germany’s role in EU-China relations

ZHENG Chunrong1,2

(1.Institute of Germany Studies, Tongji University)
(2.Institute of European Union Studies, Tongji University)

【Abstract】Under the background of the debt crisis, Germany’s position within the EU has been significantly raised. With the adjustment of China’s strategies towards Europe and the increasingly close cooperation between China and Germany, Germany has been playing a somewhat leadership role in the EU’s relationship with China. Based on the analysis of the changing role of Germany in EU-China relations and the concept of the “three-dimension leadership” combined with a case study, this paper analyzes the way in which Germany is playing a leading role in EU-China relations and the inherent limitations. After that, it points out that the West is doubtful about whether Germany will take advantage of its roles in the EU-China relations at the expense of the European common strategic interests. This paper as well analyzes Germany’s reactions to this doubt. It concludes with a few suggestions about what China should do to deal with Germany’s rising role in EU-China rations.

【Keywords】 Germany; Germany-China relations; “special relations”; EU-China relations; leadership;


【Funds】 General Project of National Social Sciences Foundation of China (14BG009). Project of Philosophy and Social Sciences of Shanghai City (2013BGJ004)

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This Article


CN: 11-4899/C

Vol 33, No. 03, Pages 1-14+165

June 2015


Article Outline



  • 1 Germany’s role in China-EU relations and the changes
  • 2 Reason for Germany to change its role in China-Europe relations
  • 3 Effects and limitations of Germany’s role in China-Europe relations
  • 4 Concerns of the West for Germany’s role and Germany’s responses
  • 5 Conclusion
  • Footnote