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The Social Dimension of Globalization in the EU-China Relationship: What China Cares and why?

Hang Yuan

In the past decade, the social dimension of globalisation became a central part of the EU external policy. The EU actively promotes the key initiatives advocated by the International Labour Organization (ILO), such as core labour standards (CLS), a decent work agenda, and corporate social responsibility (CSR). The EU's diffusion of these international norms in the word is a contentious issue. While the EU believes the universality of these norms, China tends to take a cautious look at them and defends its traditional positions on labour rights. Meanwhile, China also seeks to learn EU expertise in urbanization, employment and social affairs such as social security and cohesion. It would be significant to know what factors influence China's choice in accepting the EU's social practice and models. To what extent the leadership change will influence China's positions? In broader sense, will this increase uncertainties in EU-China relations? There is a paucity of research on this topic. This research aims to capitalize on cutting-edge research and an multi-method design to identify the principal factors and possible mechanisms shaping China's policy positions and future EU-China interactions on the social dimension of globalization.

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