The U.S — China race and the fate of transatlantic relations

Part II: Bridging differing geopolitical views
World politics International relations Relations with China U.S foreign policy United States of America China European Union

Technological—and therefore economic—dominance is one key dimension of global competition between the United States and China, although the competition between the two powers goes far beyond just the economy. For example, the Covid-19 pandemic is a new and different dimension in the struggle between China and the United States. Furthermore, what are the pandemic’s implications for the European Union and the transatlantic relationship? As Part I of this paper discussed, technological competition between the United States and China can have either a disruptive or healing effect on transatlantic relations. To stave off disruption, a new and unified transatlantic agenda related to China is needed.

This paper identifies and explores several areas beyond technology in which the European Union and the United States can and should find common ground. But any such exploration begins with recognizing the need to defend Western values, creating a broader transatlantic dialogue on trade and Chinese investments, developing a shared understanding of the military and security challenges posed by China, and finally, working toward a behavioral change in China on issues of transatlantic common interests. Today, China poses challenges to both the European Union and the United States in geographical areas—as well as functional and organizational ones—from which it was absent until fairly recently. But many factors bring the European Union much closer to the United States than to China on these issues. Further bilateral disputes between Washington and its European partners and allies must end, and a more common approach toward China must be developed.

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