1st Edition

Europe in an Era of Growing Sino-American Competition Coping with an Unstable Triangle

Edited By Sebastian Biba, Reinhard Wolf Copyright 2021
    226 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates how Europe should position itself in an era of growing Chinese-American rivalry.

    The volume explores the contemporary relationship and ongoing dynamics between three of the most powerful players in today’s international relations - the USA, China and Europe. It claims that the intensifying antagonism between Washington and Beijing requires a paradigm shift in European strategic thinking, and takes a trilateral perspective in analysing key issue areas, such as trade, technology, investment, climate change, the BRI, sub-national contacts, maritime security and nuclear non-proliferation. Using this analysis, the work seeks to offer original policy recommendations that respond to a number of dilemmas Europe can no longer avoid, including the trade-off between European interests and values in a harsher global environment, the question of whether Europe should align with one of the two superpowers, Europe’s military dependence on a US pivoting to the Asia-Pacific, and possible trade-offs between global and regional governance efforts. The key finding is that Europe must follow a much more pragmatic and independent approach to its foreign and security affairs.

    This book will be of much interest to students of EU policy, foreign policy, Chinese politics, US politics and IR in general.

    1. Introduction Sebastian Biba and Reinhard Wolf

    Part I: Europe’s Agency in the International System

    2. A new US-China bipolar system: What role for Europe in security and defence? Øystein Tunsjø

    3. Europe in between US-Chinese strategic competition: the role of a middle power Liselotte Odgaard

    4. The sub-national dimension of the European Union’s relations with China: A Solution for Tough Times? Tomasz Kamiński and Joanna Ciesielska-Klikowska

    Part II: Geostrategic Issues and Europe’s Security

    5. The EU’s Asia security policy in the Trump era: challenges and opportunities Emil Kirchner

    6. Europe and the South China Sea: Challenges, constraints, and options Michael Paul

    7. Europe and the North Korea conundrum: Navigating the China‒South Korea‒United States triangle Ramon Pacheco Pardo

    Part III: Geo-economic Issues and Europe’s Welfare

    8. Europe’s economic and technological relationship with the United States and China: A difficult balancing act Margot Schüller

    9. European and American approaches towards Chinese foreign direct investment in post-COVID times: Opportunities, challenges and policy responses Philippe Le Corre

    10. Europe and the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI): Infrastructure and Connectivity Claude Zanardi

    11. EU-China cooperation amidst fragmented climate leadership Mario Esteban and Lara Lázaro

    Part IV: Concluding Remarks

    12. Sustaining the European project in an age of Sino-American confrontation: An end to complacency Sebastian Biba and Reinhard Wolf


    Sebastian Biba is a lecturer and research fellow at the Institute of Political Science of Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, and a visiting fellow at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, USA.

    Reinhard Wolf is a Professor of International Relations at the Institute of Political Science at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany.

    "Europe in an Era of Growing Sino-American Competition is a timely and welcome addition to the burgeoning literature on the new cold war between China and the United States. The editors have brought together an impressive, all- European set of voices to analyse Europe’s difficult choices in a world of escalating superpower tensions." - David C. Unger