After Brexit: Risks and Opportunities to EU–China Relations

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As a result of Brexit, China faces both enormous economic challenges and political uncertainties in future relations with its largest trading partner, the EU. But while the UK's vote to leave creates an unexpected dilemma for the Chinese leadership, whose EU policy focuses largely on gaining vast market access, it also presents a rare opportunity for China to harness its policy instruments and diversify its initiatives to pursue its economic goals with European partners. As a pre-condition to achieving the desired outcome, however, Beijing will need to untangle its foreign policy decision-making processes. Against this backdrop, the author will illuminate post-Brexit Sino–British relations and reflect on the possible impacts of Brexit upon future relations between Beijing and Brussels. A second section will analyse the very complex foreign policy making mechanism in Beijing in terms of its economic policy goals with the EU.

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