Key Cooperative Research Institute for Policy Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the P.R.C (2022-2024)

Shaohua Yan,“China and European Strategic Autonomy”


Yan, S. (2023). China and European Strategic Autonomy. In: Attinà, F., Feng, Y. (eds) China and World Politics in Transition. Global Power Shift. Springer, Cham.


        European strategic autonomy has become a mainstream policy narrative and long-term strategic objective in the EU, with significant implications for China–EU relations. This chapter aims to clarify the implications of European strategic autonomy, analysing both the opportunities and challenges that it brings for China’s relations with the EU. The chapter argues that from a Chinese perspective, European strategic autonomy is in line with China’s expectation for a multi-polar world in which the EU constitutes an independent pole and maintains a balanced position between the US and China. Meanwhile, motivated by strategic autonomy, the EU’s emphasis on political solidarity, its protection of economic sovereignty and ambition for geopolitics could also pose challenges to China–EU relations. In general, China should support European strategic autonomy with strategic new thinking to construct a multi-polar world order.