A Triangular Relationship
Leuven Global Governance series
Edited by Jan Wouters, Jean-Christophe Defraigne and Matthieu Burnay
Chapter 1: The historical links between China, Europe and the developing world
In order to assess the recent evolution of the respective influences of China and Europe in the various regions considered by this book, it is necessary to understand their respective histories of expansion in the world and the types of economic, political and cultural links they have developed in this process. The exceptional growth of the Chinese economy over the last three decades has clearly made China an indispensable world player and one that now has an impact in all the regions of the world. However, this impact varies and it affects the relations of these regions with Europe in very different ways. Long-term historical trends also explain why the means used today by China to develop its relations with regions around the world are different from those used by Europe. This chapter provides a comparative long-term view of the relations between the different regions of the developing world and, respectively, Europe and China.