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How Chinese identity politics shapes its depictions of Europe

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Michael Barr


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Sino-EU relations are officially described as a 'comprehensive strategic partnership' and are bound to play a key role in shaping the character of the newly-emerging multi-polar system. At present, the EU is China’s biggest trading partner, while China is the EU’s largest source of imports and second largest two-way trading partner. However, while recognising such closeness, this paper will adopt a slightly more critical stance towards Sino-EU relations. I analyse how internal political debates within China influences how leading Chinese actors construct various images of Europe. Central to this analysis will be Chinese attempts to create counter narratives of both colonial history and of the structure of the state system as a way of challenging dominant European conceptions of order – that is to say, the paper will describe China’s efforts to launch an ideational challenge to the Westphalian system.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Barr M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Review of European Studies

Year: 2012

Volume: 4

Issue: 3

Pages: 45-53

Print publication date: 01/07/2012

ISSN (print): 1918-7173

ISSN (electronic): 1918-7181

Publisher: Canadian Center of Science and Education


DOI: 10.5539/res.v4n3p45


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