On September 16, 2022, the Center for China-Europe Relations of Fudan University (CCER Fudan) released an academic report entitled “Decoupling of Europe’s Economic and Trade Relations with China: Situation and Prospects.” The authors of the report, Jian Junbo and Chen Tenghan, focus on the EU’s perspective, comprehensively and systematically expounding the trial of the EU to reduce economic and trade dependence on China and to prevent the risk from China’s investment in the context of geopolitical events such as the Sino-US game, Russia-Ukraine military conflict and other geopolitical events since the release of its latest “China Strategy” policy document in 2016.
The report first systematically analyzes the reasons why the EU seeks to “decouple” its economic and trade relations with China, and believes that this is mainly due to the important purpose of the EU’s pursuit of strategic independence and industrial upgrading. Correspondingly, the focus of the EU's pursuit of decoupling involves reducing the economic and trade dependence on China and eliminating China's security threat to the EU. The means to achieve the decoupling of economic and trade with China include internal policy tools such as foreign investment screen and corporate due diligence and external policy tools like Indo-Pacific strategy,” etc. The report analyzes that as long as China’s economy continues to develop, the EU's connection to the Chinese market will continue. The report believes that the extent of the EU's economic and trade decoupling with China in the future should not be overemphasized, nor should its impact be overestimated. It is advisable for China to consolidate China-EU economic and trade relations while keeping moderate independence and opening-up, so as to make up for and eliminate the negative impact caused by the decoupling of the EU's economic and trade relations with China.
The following is the full text of the report.