Chapter

The Role of France in Sino-European Relations: Central or Marginal?

JEAN-PIERRE CABESTAN

in The International Politics of EU-China Relations

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264089
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734809 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264089.003.0008

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

The Role of France in Sino-European Relations: Central or Marginal?

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This chapter argues that the efficacy of the intergovernmental process in external relations is weakening, as a result of three factors: enlargement, and notably the accession of the Central and East European (CEE) states; continued strategic dependence on NATO; and a desire to repair the transatlantic breach over Iraq. These have made Europeanization much more complex but at the same time limited the capacity of the Big Three to build consensus in the intergovernmental process. Thus, although discursively the EU's policy on China sounds like France's, in practice on the five problem areas identified by Cabestan (embargoes, Taiwan, human rights, trade, and the market economy) the trend is towards a Euro–American convergence. However, this analysis depends upon a particular interpretation of what is tactical and structural in the USA– Europe–China triangle.

Keywords: France; CEE states; NATO; Iraq; Europeanization; enlargement; USA; China

Chapter.  9321 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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