EU–China and EU–India: A Tale of Two Strategic Partnerships

Dr. Gulshan Sachdeva is Associate Professor, Centre for European Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has also worked as Team Leader in the ADB-funded capacity building project on regional cooperation at the Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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  • July 2014

    More than a decade has passed since the European Union (EU) signed strategic partnerships with China (2003) and India (2004). The EU’s ‘honeymoon’ with China was over within a few years while cooperation on truly strategic issues with India is yet to emerge. The core of both these relationships is still economics. While China has taken full advantage of the EU’s institutional mechanism through more than 56 sectoral dialogues to promote its geopolitical goals and also to neutralise European concerns about democracy and human rights, Indian policy makers and analysts remain sceptical about Europe’s role in global affairs. As a result, they have not bothered to use European capacities to promote their own interests through this partnership.