Paul Irwin Crookes delivers an invitation lecture on EU-China economic relations at the Lau China Institute, King’s College London

Paul Irwin Crookes delivered a lecture at the Lau China Institute of King’s College London on the politics of EU-China economic relations. Exploring a number of contemporary themes in this important bilateral relationship, Paul was joined as co-presenter by John Farnell of the Brussels-based EU-Asia Centre. The presentation outlined a number of reasons to be positive about the evolution and direction of EU-China relations in the economic sphere, highlighting the importance to each side of further developing mutual interests in joint research and development projects in science and technology and of reinforcing closer cooperation in fields such as sustainable urbanisation, agriculture and animal husbandry.

However, a number of important, persistent pressures that exist in relations between the two economies were also analysed. Here, both presenters counselled caution in making too optimistic an assessment of the European Union’s strategic partnership with China. The lecture presented evidence of a number of obstacles to progress in key policy areas, such as challenges in securing achievable deliverables in recently commenced bilateral investment treaty negotiations and continuing tensions surrounding the EU’s ongoing refusal to grant Market Economy Status to China. The evening concluded with a lively question and answer session in which King’s College faculty and students explored specific issues in more detail with both presenters.

Paul Irwin Crookes and John Farnell are finalising a book entitled The Politics of EU-China Economic Relations: Constraints on Cooperation in the 21st Century under contract with Palgrave Macmillan.