Rising to the Challenge: The EU and Chinese Strategic Investments in Europe

  • Roland FreudensteinEmail author


Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) has to be defined as part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) broader strategy, under Xi Jinping’s leadership, to both expand its political influence and increase economic gains. This is part of China’s systemic challenge to the West’s liberal democracy. While Chinese FDI represents, as a matter of course, also an opportunity to increase Europe’s prosperity and have mutually beneficial effects, it is in Europe’s fundamental interest to minimise the CCP’s strategic and political gains, protect assets critical to national security, preserve European corporate and business practices, and push for equal market access for European FDI in China. For Europe, a lot will depend on improving knowledge and analytical capacities about China, maintaining unity in face of Chinese attempts to play European Union (EU) countries against each other and developing strong screening mechanisms against unwanted Chinese takeovers and forced technology transfer. The EU should not face China alone, but together with its global partners and allies, especially the United States.


  1. Benner, Thorsten, Jan Gaspers, Mareike Ohlberg, Lucrezia Poggetti, and Kristin Shi-Kupfer, Authoritarian Advance—Responding to China’s Growing Political Influence in Europe, Berlin 2018. Accessed June 24, 2018.
  2. Duesterberg, Thomas J., 5G: China’s Dream to Dominate World Technology, Hudson Institute, Washington, DC, 2018a. Accessed June 24, 2018.
  3. Duesterberg, Thomas J., Chinese Economic and Trade Challenges to the West: Prospects and Consequences from a U.S.-German Perspective, Hudson Institute/Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Washington, DC, 2018b. Accessed June 24, 2018.
  4. Godement, Francois, and Abigail Vasselier, China at the gates: A new power audit of EU-China relations, ECFR, London, December 2017. Accessed June 24, 2018.
  5. Hanemann, Thilo, and Mikko Huotari, Record Flows and Growing Imbalances—Chinese Investment in Europe in 2016, MERICS Papers on China Update No. 3, Berlin 2017. Accessed June 24, 2018.
  6. Hellström, Jerker, China’s Acquisitions in Europe—European Perceptions of Chinese Investments and their Strategic Implications, FOI Stockholm, 2016. Accessed June 24, 2018.'s_Acquisitions_in_Europe_European_Perceptions_of_Chinese_Investments_and_their_Strategic_Implications
  7. Rasmussen Global, Foreign Investment Screening and the China Factor—New protectionism or new European standards? (n.d.). Accessed June 24, 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wilfried Martens Centre for European StudiesBrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations