China, the European Union and the Developing World
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China, the European Union and the Developing World

A Triangular Relationship

Edited by Jan Wouters, Jean-Christophe Defraigne and Matthieu Burnay

China, the European Union and the Developing World provides a comparative analysis of Chinese and EU influence across five different regions of the developing world: Asia-Pacific; South and Central Asia; the Middle East and North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; and Latin America. While there is broad acknowledgement that the importance of China is rising across the developing world, this book offers a comprehensive and comparative account of the relative increase of the Chinese presence in the various different regions. It highlights its impact on the relationship between the EU and the developing world regions and shows how the rise of China affects the relations between these regions and Europe.
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Chapter 11: European and Chinese perspectives on the handling of the Iranian nuclear question

Clara Portela


The rise of China in the developing world has affected, in one way or another, the European Union’s (EU) relationship with every region of the world – not least the Middle East. One of the issues featuring more prominently on the international security agenda over the past decade is the nuclear weapons programme allegedly being developed by Iran. In the initial phase of the crisis, the EU profiled itself as a negotiator of nonproliferation, which was made possible by the diplomatic links maintained with Iran by the UK, Germany and France, as well as by the absence of contact between the US and the Islamic Republic. After the breakdown of negotiations, the EU imposed sanctions on the oil and financial sector, in line with the US stance. Torn between the need to satisfy its energy needs with Iranian oil and the objective of stemming nuclear proliferation, China has also shifted to closer collaboration with the US. However, the Western members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) were only able to obtain agreement from China, as well as Russia, by watering down the measures originally proposed. Furthermore, Chinese implementation of UN sanctions remains below standard and continues to be subject to criticism by Western powers.

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