The relationship between China and European nations has been rewritten and largely turned around in the last four decades. From presence and influence in China, the main issues have shifted and now revolve around China’s presence and influence in and near Europe. Crucially, Chinese investment in Europe has now overtaken European investment in China. China’s relations with Europe are extensive and still growing. They include intensive state-to-state diplomacy, public diplomacy that involves European elites, an outsize trade relationship as well as an investment strategy leading to increasing friction, people-to-people exchanges that consist primarily of tourist and student flows from China to Europe, and cultural influences or soft power.
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