This article considers the Sino-European solar panel conflict, which occurred between 2012 and 2014. The article takes a particular interest in how China and Europe coped with the trade dispute, which arose after several European solar companies filed a complaint in the European Commission accusing the Chinese of unfair trade practices (i.e. dumping and illegal subsidising). An analysis of the internal and external challenges that were decisive for the outcome of the trade conflict is illustrated, after which the article makes some conclusions about the concept of economic statecraft, how it is applied and on the effectiveness of European economic diplomacy in the changing Sino-European trade relationship.
China; Europe; Trade; Economic statecraft; Political economy
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