Stable trilateral relations forecast

Updated: 2012-11-08 08:11

By Zhang Chunyan in London and Fu Jing in Brussels (China Daily)

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European experts have forecast no major changes to Sino-US relations following President Barack Obama's re-election, but say his second term will probably have a positive impact on joint ties.

They also say the European Union's China policy will probably be influenced by the evolution of Sino-US relations and by the way in which China develops relations with the EU.

"There will not be big changes between the US and China, but Obama's victory is likely to be positive for the relationship," Yao Shujie, head of the school of contemporary Chinese studies at Nottingham University in the United Kingdom, said.

Yao said that given growing ties between the US and China, Obama's harsh rhetoric toward China voiced during the election campaign will not translate into significant policy change during his second term.

Obama's victory means he becomes only the second Democrat after Bill Clinton to secure two terms since World War II.

Andrew Small, a transatlantic fellow with the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the US, thought US-EU-China relations would remain largely unchanged.

"It's far easier for European leaders to join an initiative led by a President Obama than a President Romney" regarding cooperation on Asia policy, including China, Small said.

Nicola Casarini, research fellow at the European Union Institute for Security Studies, said the EU-China relationship may evolve due to changes in US-China relations and within China. When it comes to how Europe sees US-China relations and adapts to these trilateral relations, Casarini said: "The EU and the US share many interests and values and the NATO alliance provides a valuable security framework for Europe. It is only normal in these conditions that the EU follows the US lead on many global issues, including China."

But Casarini added: "The EU is intent on developing its own position on China and Asia."

Kevin Francke, Transatlantic Relations Program officer with the Berlin-based German Council on Foreign Relations, said there will be more focus on Asia than Europe.

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Liu Jia contributed to this story in Brussels.