• Sanja Arežina Влада Републике Србије


China, development, Europe, European Union, United States, cooperation, Chinese threat, perception


With the PR China reaching an imposing level of economic development and becoming the most prominent holder of foreign exchange reserves, its presence expanded around the globe, which has led to the overlapping of its interests and the interests of the world's leading powers, primarily the US and the EU. Given that Europe represents the most important Chinese market, Beijing is constantly working towards consolidating political and economic relations with European countries and the European Union itself. However, over time, there has been an increase in the number of factors that hampered the good functioning of the Sino-European cooperation. The dominant one among them is their respective relationship with the world’s leading power – the United States. As the "Chinese threat" theory spread from the United States to European countries, it left in its wake a negative perception which pervaded the European public discourse, where the PR China is perceived as a threat to the development and normative values of the European countries, which stands in visible contrast to the positive approach that PR China wishes to cultivate, being the developmental opportunity for the European countries. In the article, the author differentiates between two diametrically different perceptions observed in the European discourse on China, explains their origins and background, as well as the ways they reflect on both the bilateral and multilateral relations between the PR China and the European countries. At the closing of the article, the author offers an assessment of which of the two perceptions is more realistic and dominant in the public discourse and gives a projection of the direction of further cooperation between the PR China and Europe.


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