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Baltic Journal of European Studies

Tallinn Law School, Department of Law, School of Business and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology

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Challenging the EU’s Economic Roles? The Impact of the Eurozone Crisis on EU Images in China

Suet-Yi Lai
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  • National Centre for Research on Europe University of Canterbury Kirkwood Village KD04, Christchurch, New Zealand
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/ Li Zhang
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  • School of Political, Social and International Studies University of East Anglia Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
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Published Online: 2013-12-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bjes-2013-0019


Since the outbreak of the 2008/2009 global financial crisis, the economic balance between the traditional developed economies and the emerging ones has changed drastically, including that between the European Union and China. While the EU and its Member States are preoccupied by the eurozone debt crisis, stagnant economic growth and high domestic unemployment, China raised as the world’s second largest economy and one of the quickest growing consumer market. This paper explores the change in perception of the EU as an economic actor in the eyes of Chinese mainstream news media and national elites under such context. It argues that the strategic partnership could improve only if the two sides understand the mutual perception clearly. It is found that China has increased its leverage for bargaining vis-à-vis the EU as well as the capacity to give some help to the EU. Although the image of the EU as an economic powerhouse has been slightly weakened, it did not turn the heavily trade-oriented EU-China relations more comprehensive.

Keywords : elite interviews; EU-China economic relations; EU perception; eurozone debt crisis; media analysis

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-12-31

Published in Print: 2013-12-01

Citation Information: Baltic Journal of European Studies, Volume 3, Issue 3, Pages 13–36, ISSN (Print) 2228-0596, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bjes-2013-0019.

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