Chapter 7: The environment
Beijing has acknowledged Europe’s global leadership in setting and diffusing environmental standards globally. Faced with environmental degradation jeopardizing its economic development and therefore endangering the leadership’s domestic legitimacy, Beijing has shown interest in learning from European expertise. It has even modeled some of its policies after it. The two partners have made environmental cooperation a strategic priority. While this alignment of interests has enabled some cooperation, it has not brought an alignment of norms. The fundamental normative divergence at the core of EU-China relations has remained. It is clear, the two maintain their differences in their development path. While leading through its power of example, Europe’s inherent fragmentation has influenced its much-praised image. Overall, in spite of dealing with a series of crises, Europe has been effective in socializing China with international norms, a result of both Europe’s power of ideas and China’s power of interest.
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