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Perceptions and Challenges of China-EU Energy Cooperation

Nadine Piefer, Michèle Knodt, Lai Suet-Yi

Today, China and the EU are the world's first and third biggest energy consumers. Owing to physical distance and the fact that both China and the EU are energy-importers, interaction within the energy field only started in 1995. With China becoming the world's biggest energy consumer, largest carbon-emitter as well as largest investor in renewable energy in 2011, the EU has become a more interesting partner for China especially in fields of renewable energies and energy efficiency. Despite China not being in the EU's immediate neighbourhood, where emphasis on energy cooperation is traditionally laid, China's importance as energy partner for the EU is growing and both engage in an energy dialogue within the scope of the Strategic Partnership. This paper presents the results of two research projects shedding light on the challenges and perceptions of EU external energy governance with China by focusing on the following research questions: • How is the interaction between the EU and China shaped in the case of external energy relations? Who are the key players in the China-EU interaction?• Which messages do the EU and China send out about their interests in the energy dialogues?• Is the EU perceived as a major international actor in the chosen Chinese media outlets and are its normative orientations of sustainability, competitiveness and security of supply shared by China? Using methodologies of a comparative survey, qualitative interviews, media and network analysis we will assess these questions and in a final step draw conclusions on the EU's role as a global energy partner for China. Policy recommendations for improved cooperation on energy issues between China and the EU will be offered.

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