ISBN: 9781316563243

Joakim Kreutz

Stockholm University

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This volume explores Sino-EU policies on a broad set of security issues. Both actors share an ambition to contribute to regional and international stability. Individual chapters zoom in on different dimensions of security ranging from terrorism to climate change. All are co-authored by scholars in Europe and in China, ensuring a detailed and up-to-date account of contemporary policies in both entities. This makes the book useful for students and scholars interested in the EU as well as those studying China. A downside is that most chapters focus on positive experiences rather than thornier issues. While the Tiananmen Square ‘incident’ is mentioned, there is little about European criticism of Chinese human rights violations. Besides the rich empirical mapping of different security policy areas, the volume seeks to synthesize its contributions around a specific question of the nature of Sino-EU security relations. The threat perceptions of China and the EU are often similar, but they frequently differ in the response to these problems. These differences are both institutional – the EU is not a sovereign state like China – but also based on different preferences. It is telling that direct Sino-EU co-operation has been relatively rare so far, though increasing in the last few years. The concluding chapter relates this to the central position of the US in both European and Chinese international relations, a factor missing from this book. However, if the US reconsiders its foreign policy priorities as signaled by the incoming Trump administration, Sino-EU relations will become increasingly important. This book provides a well-researched and well-written background to one of the potentially most dynamic relationships in contemporary and future world politics.