The COVID-19 crisis has hit at a time when debates over the need to adopt more coherent strategies towards China have been emerging across Europe. In many ways, the current crisis has become a catalyst for a number of trends that have been shaping Europe-China relations in recent years, while in other ways it has turned the tables. It has simultaneously brought Europe and China into closer cooperation, pushed them further apart, and seemingly underlined the fractures that exist within Europe on how to approach an increasingly influential China.

This report seeks to identify and underline key developments in bilateral relations between China and a wide range of European countries, and to highlight debates that these relations inspire across Europe within the context of the evolving health crisis. It is a collection of independent analyses from 19 countries meant to compare notes on country-level experiences and build on the annual reports of the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC).

The goal here is not to be exhaustive or definitive – indeed, the crisis is still unfolding across much of Europe and the globe, and the potential for change is still great. Rather, this report offers a marker in time and a window into some of the issues that will become increasingly important in Europe-China relationships in light of COVID-19.

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