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;

【DOI】

【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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    [57]. ①For example, the British David Cameron made it clear on his visit to China in December 2013 that the UK would become China’s best supporter in the West. Although the EU had different positions before, Cameron still said that he had been ready to promote a free trade agreement between China and the EU by using his political influence. See Cameron offered the strongest support to China during his visit to the country, but the humble posture aroused debates, Global Times (环球时报), December 3, 2013, http://world.huaqiu.com/depth_report/2013-12/4623561. html, (2015-4-22). [^Back]

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    [61]. ④Mei, Z. Germany Studies (德国研究), (1): 4–11 (2013); Mei, Z. World Development Research Report Series (世界发展研究报告系列), (3): 4 (2014). [^Back]

    [62]. ⑤For instance, when dealing with the Ukraine crisis, in the process of reaching the Minsk Agreement II, the German Chancellor Merkel took the French President Hollande on board in order to reduce the doubts about German’s medicating effort by those EU countries that held hard-line policy toward Russia. See Zheng, C. & Zhu, J. Journal of Tongji University (Social Science Section) (同济大学学报(社会科学版)), (6): 36–46 (2014). [^Back]

This Article

ISSN:1004-9789

CN: 11-4899/C

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

June 2015

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Article Outline

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Abstract

  • 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