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Shambaugh, David

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International Herald Tribune - France | 27/11/2007

China and the EU conversing in Beijing

"For Europe, the 'China honeymoon' is over", writes David Shambaugh, director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University. "Changes of British, French, and German leaders have also contributed to the change of atmosphere. Gone are the China-fawning Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder, replaced by the more China-skeptical Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy. ... This changed environment leaves China's Europe watchers flummoxed. They had grown accustomed to the EU playing the role of ardent suitor, but now find the change in Europe's attitude hard to explain to higher-level officials in Beijing. ... Thus the atmosphere going into the EU-China summit meeting Wednesday is sour. Most likely, both sides will put on as positive a face as possible, but expect the acrimony to continue as both sides come to grips with an increasingly complicated relationship."

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