The EU-US-China Triangle

The April 4, 2006 visit of Angelos Pangratis, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States, to Boston provided an occasion for the IHS to turn its attention to the impact of China on the transatlantic relationship. From 1998 to 2003, Pangratis was Head of Unit responsible for relations with China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, South Korea and Mongolia. He delivered a lecture entitled The EU-US-China Triangle to which Shelley Hawks, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at Boston University, and Yuan-yuan Shen, Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for the Environment China Project, responded. Pangratis addressed the challenges and risks posed by China’s growth, listing as cause for concern China’s growing inequality, regional disparities, environmental concerns, corruption, human rights abuses, lack of transparency and a fragile banking sector. Where China is concerned, he said, the EU and the US share fundamental values and objectives; both sides need to work together to insure that the rise of China is peaceful and accomplished in a way that contributes to global prosperity. In her comments, Yuan-yuan Shen addressed problems impacting relations between the US and China. She argued that the trade disputes were a normal part of China’s growth process and that with China’s own growing demand for intellectual property protection, it would start to implement laws that protect foreign owners as well. Shelley Hawks focused her remarks on Taiwan and stressed the importance of maintaining the One-China policy while striving for incremental progress.

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