The US National Security Strategy for 2018 has underlined China’s “strategic foothold” in Europe for the first time. It declares that the expansion of Chinese investment is aimed at “unfair trade practices and investing in key industries, sensitive technologies and infrastructure,” hence making it increasingly relevant to economic dependency of the European countries on China to substitute US.
China’s political and diplomatic influence in a region that, in aggregate terms, remains the second largest economy after the US is viewed with great concern. Moreover, the impact of Chinese investment campaign is no more restricted to individual countries. Its implications are interlinked and are a critical feature of Europe-China relations.