This article aims to examine the implementation of shaping the EU- China Strategic Partnership and investigate the obstacles they are encountering. Accordingly, the article will answer the following questions: (1)How do the EU and China define their strategic objectives?(2)What do they expect from the implementation of the strategic partnership?(3)Do they have fundamental consensus and benchmarks to shape this relationship? (4)Why does the EU reject to lift the arms embargo against China and refuse to recognise China’s market economy status?(5)Whether the negotiation for the PCA (Partnership and Cooperation Agreement) and the BIA (Bilateral Investment Agreement) between the two parties affects the implementation of a strategic partnership?
This article argues that due to the lack of strategic consensus to manage significant co-operation over critical international issues, it is difficult for the EU and China to achieve a true strategic partnership. Since the two parties are undergoing ‘a period of pragmatic reflection’, they have to consider how to fulfill the conclusions made in the summits, high-level meetings and sectored dialogues. Only if the EU and China can co-operate over international affairs, they are able to converge on mutual interests and build a real strategic partnership. Moreover, under the principle of ‘shaping a new type of great power relationship’, China is expected to play a more active role on the international scene. Therefore, the EU will have to undertake a more pragmatic approach to implement the EU-China strategic partnership.
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