In the new circumstances for the development of the global economy and the global trade, the eyes of
the world, and the EU too, have been turned to China. This country seems to be a production
superpower, able to change the world trade. In many areas it possesses comparative advantages.
The access of China to WTO was a historical decision, the evidence of evolution which was taking
place within that organisation, giving it a more universal, global form. This means also that it expands
on a huge market which can open itself up for foreign competition and the EU too.
Europe and China need to establish a new format for trade–political relations. Their commercial
relations are too important to become hostage to political grandstanding or airy rhetoric by politicians
performing for domestic galleries. Europe is China’s largest export market, and China now ranks
second on Europe’s list of key trading partners. Trade with China dwarfs any other trade relation
Europe has with emerging Asia. Disturbing this relationship would have ramifications for sales, growth
and employment. Carrefour, the French food chain, recently experienced a boycott after the French
critique of China’s policy towards Tibet. Any Western multinational company operating in China is
cautious in its approach to Chinese politics in order to avoid hostile political reactions from Beijing as
well as consumer boycotts. The Chinese government is less concerned today about Western
criticisms of China’s autocratic system, but the Chinese people have grown more nationalistic and
represent a potentially greater threat to commercial relations. Commercial interests in autocratic
regimes cause political dilemmas. On the one hand, European and other Western governments need
to voice their criticisms and tailor. On the other hand, they have commercial interests to defend.
Furthermore, their overall policies must be measured in order to avoid diplomatic brinkmanship, which
risks leading to the opposite outcome: a slowdown, or even a reversion, of freedom-enhancing
reforms. The main aim of this work is the presentation of the new tendency in the foreign trade policy
in relations between European Union and China and their perspectives.
Author (s) Details
Zdzisław W. Puślecki
Faculty of Political Science and Journalism, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland.
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