Skip to navigationSkip to content
REBALANCING

Covid-19 is a defining moment in the relationship between Europe and China

Reuters/Jason Lee/Pool
Frenemies.
  • Annabelle Timsit
By Annabelle Timsit

Geopolitics reporter

Published

The novel coronavirus has provided the European Union a unique opportunity to rebalance its relationship with China—if only it could get on the same page about it.

When EU member states needed face masks during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, they couldn’t get any, because China had shut down its factories. The crisis illustrated the dangers of depending on a single country for medical equipment. And it’s prompted some politicians to push for the bloc to accelerate its long-term strategy of becoming more autonomous in key sectors, including digital infrastructure, space and defense, raw materials, and pharmaceuticals.

That would mean shifting supply chains away from China, procuring base materials from elsewhere, and generally trying to make Europe’s economy depend as little as possible on China—a process known in the US as “decoupling.”

Enrich your perspective. Embolden your work. Become a Quartz member.

Your membership supports a team of global Quartz journalists reporting on the forces shaping our world. We make sense of accelerating change and help you get ahead of it with business news for the next era, not just the next hour. Subscribe to Quartz today.

Membership includes:

こちらは英語版への登録ページです。
Quartz Japanへの登録をご希望の方はこちらから。