EU CHINA Tensions

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EU CHINA Tensions


  • The European Union launched a case against China at the WORLD Trade Organisation for targeting Lithuania over its stand on Taiwan.


  • A long negotiated investment deal between EU and China has also been on a halt and the situation is not so favourable between China and EU.
  • And now the latest spat is over Lithuania, one of the smallest countries in the European Union.
  • Lithuania recognizing Taiwan as an independent state and inviting for them to establish an embassy has triggered China.
  • As China considers Taiwan as a rebellious territory of the mainland.


  • The EU is China’s largest trading partner, and in 2020, China overtook the US in becoming the EU’s largest trade partner. 
  • Most of this trade is in industrial and manufactured goods. Between 2009 and 2010 alone EU exports to China increased by 38% and China’s exports to the EU increased by 31%.
  • On the 31st of December 2020, the EU announced that the negotiations for the Comprehensive Agreement on Investmentwere concluded and the deal is pending ratification by the European Parliament.[
  • The deal is viewed as a significant step towards market liberalisation in China and “the most ambitious agreement that China has ever concluded” by significantly opening up its internal market to EU companies.
  • Prior to the existence of the European Community, many European states had relations with the Ming dynasty as early as the 16th century.
  • The most important relationship, apart from Britain-China connected China with France and Germany.
  • In 1979, just after the first direct elections to the European Parliament, the later institution established the “Delegation for relations with the People’s Republic of China” (D–CN).
  • After the end of the Cold Warin 1990, relations with Europe were not as important as its relations with the US, Japan and other Asian powers.
  • However interest in closer relations started to rise as economic contacts increased and interest in a multipolarsystem grew.
  • Although initially imposing an arms embargo on China after Tiananmen (see arms embargosection below), European leaders eased off China’s isolation.
  • China’s growing economy became the focus for many European visitors and in turn Chinese businessmen began to make frequent trips to Europe.
  • Europe’s interest in China led to the EU becoming unusually active with China during the 1990s with high-level exchanges.
  • EU-Chinese trade increased faster than the Chinese economy itself, tripling in ten years from US$14.3 billion in 1985 to US$45.6 billion in 1994.

Source: THE HINDU.