Cultural Diplomacy News (CDN)
Prof. Dr. Jaap de Zwaan (Professor of Law of the European Union, Erasmus University Rotterdam; The Netherlands)

22.09.2011 - Interview conducted by Marianna Francese

Q1. To what extent can EU member states allow China to assist us through our economic crisis?

As long as China respects the rules of the game in Europe and has available the resources to invest in Europe, then there is nothing to prevent China from coming into the European market. It’s like a new form of trade. However we must be wary of them taking over too many companies. This could raise concerns within certain circles.

Q2. What type of approach will Europe take towards China one of cooperation or adversity?

For more than two decades Europe has started relationships of cooperation with China. There is no other way. Europe can only take on a modest role at the world level. It can profit from the economic opportunities China offers since it has such a large economy. For instance China’s agricultural, environmental and water management domain are of considerable interest to European countries such as the Netherland who can offer its expertise. Therefore it is a partnership of cooperation that we must adopt to deal with China in these areas. But in parallel we should have dialogue about other issues such as dissidents, lack of democracy etc. But not impose our model but ask them and make enquiries.

Q3. Where will China be in the next 20 years?

It depends on how the United Nation develops. If a full reform of the Security Council is not reached then this will be problematic.  This is due to the Security Council holding the primary responsible authority to ensure peace and security in the world. Therefore if they fail who else can do this job? An alternative would be to form regional cooperation’s and the Chinese will play an important role in the East Asia region. In addition the United States must play a more modest role in order to create a balanced situation. But if the UN AND us fail to create this then China may become too powerful considering they have both the capacity and instruments to do it.

Q4. Considering the current Economic crisis has China’s involvement in bailing out some states effected future EU-China relations?

The situation is right for China to help struggling EU members since they have the resources making it possible. As long as China respects the rules the EU will welcome them and will be able to profit from it.