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The External Relations of the European Union


Edited By Pascaline Winand, Andrea Benvenuti and Max Guderzo

The book analyses the attitudes of non-EU countries towards European integration in historical and contemporary perspectives. The authors study a range of actors in Europe and beyond to explain the impact of the creation of the European Communities on the international system and how the EU is perceived in the world.
The book further shows the significance of the institutional interplay within the EU, and between EU institutions, member states and external actors led by their own internal dynamics to explain policy outcomes. It investigates to what extent the perceptions of the international community towards the European Communities and the EU have been influenced by the complexity of their decision-making and the difficulty of reconciling the views of member states on key external relations issues. The authors also study the interplay of non-EU countries and the EU within the broader context of international and regional institutions and forums for international cooperation.
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The European Community’s Policy towards the People’s Republic of China: Establishing Diplomatic Relations (December 1973-May 1975)



The European Community’s Policy towards the People’s Republic of China

Establishing Diplomatic Relations (December 1973-May 1975)

Marie Julie CHENARD

The London School of Economics and Political Science

On 14 December 1973 at the Copenhagen Summit, the foreign ministers of the nine member states of the European Community (EC), pledged in the Declaration of European Identity “to intensify their relations with the Chinese Government”.1 They also affirmed the cohesion of the Community in external relations. Thirteen months after the Copenhagen Summit, Sir Christopher Soames, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for external relations, accepted the invitation by the Institute for Foreign Relations of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to visit China in an official capacity and in May 1975 he led a delegation to Beijing. At a meeting with the Chinese foreign minister, Chiao Kuan-hua on 6 May, the Chinese government declared its wish for official EC-PRC relations. Soames was quick to oblige. “Speaking for the Community as a whole as well as for the Commission”, he stated with confidence that “the question of establishing diplomatic relations could be settled right away without any delay whatsoever”.2 It was this meeting that effectively sealed the establishment of EC-PRC diplomatic relations.3 ← 189 | 190 →

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