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How big is China’s global economic footprint? Takeaways for the European Union

Picture of Shanghai


Jens Eskelund

Managing Director, Maersk China Ltd and Member, DWARC External Experts Advisory Board,

Marjut Hannonen

Head of Trade and Economic Section in Beijing, European External Action Service


Check-in and welcome coffee



Opening remarks






Comments by lead discussants



Roundtable discussion



Concluding remarks


The international outreach of the Chinese economy has grown substantially in tandem to its rapid domestic development. Chinese SOEs have increased their presence both in the developed world as well as in the Global South, and China has become a more central player in international trade networks. At the same time, China’s economic ties with the EU are the topic of a vivid debate, most notably in the context of growing geopolitical uncertainty. The EU depends on China for the import of critical raw materials and clean-technology products. China, on the other hand, needs the EU for access to its vast market. This raises several questions. How can we properly assess the EU’s exposure to the Chinese economy?. How dependent in the EU on China for its decarbonization and how safe is it to do so?

We aim to shed light on these questions, as well as offering some policy alternatives beyond de-risking, by sharing with you the policy conclusions of our most recent research on China’s economic relations with the EU, conducted under the umbrella of a three-year research project on China, financed by the EU Commission, under the name “Dealing with a Resurgent China”.

This is an output of China Horizons, Bruegel's contribution in the project Dealing with a resurgent China (DWARC). This project has received funding from the European Union’s HORIZON Research and Innovation Actions under grant agreement No. 101061700.

EU funded project disclaimer