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Defend, Engage, Maximise: A progressive agenda for EU–China relations


This paper examines the current state of play in EU–China relations and the future prospects for them. It proposes a progressive framework to be applied to a select list of issues of strategic importance for the next five years. Built around three key words — Defend, Engage, Maximise — the progressive agenda recommends the following: (i) Defend: Europe’s jobs, competitiveness, and technological sovereignty from China’s state-controlled economy and unfair trade practices; EU fundamental values from Chinese authoritarianism; (ii) Engage China to: meet the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change; strengthen the multilateral trading system; address global security challenges; (iii) Maximise EU–China relations to: save the Iran nuclear deal; reform the international monetary system and put limits on the dollar’s exorbitant privilege.

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