1 | This article was written during a two months’ residency at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) from July – August 2018. An enormous debt of gratitude is due to Mikko Huotari of MERICS for helping arrange the opportunity. Special thanks also to Tom Bayes for insights on the EU and China, among other things. Finally, I am grateful to my RAND colleagues Molly Dunigan, Tom Szayna, and Stephanie Young for approving my sabbatical request.
2 | “Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)—Factsheet,” EU External Action Service,
June 28, 2018: https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-Homepage/34226/per- manent-structured-cooperation-pesco-factsheet_en.
3 | Robin Emmott, “‘Bad News for Our Enemies’: EU Launches Defence Pact,” Reuters, December 14, 2017: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-defence/bad-news-for-our-enemies-eu- launches-defence-pact-idUKKBN1E811Z.
4 | Thorsten Benner, Jan Gaspers, Mareike Ohlberg, Lucrezia Poggetti, and Kristin Shi-Kupfer, Authoritarian Advance: Responding to China’s Growing Political Influence in Europe (Berlin, Germany: Mercator Institute for China Studies, February 2018): https://www.merics. org/sites/default/files/2018-02/GPPi_MERICS_Authoritarian_Advance_2018_1.pdf.
5 | “How Are Global Views on China Trending?” China Power Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies citing BBC and Pew Global Public Opinion survey data, November 7, 2017: https://chinapower.csis.org/global-views/.
6 | “Speech by Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel at the Munich Security Conference,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany website, February 17, 2018.
7 | This position was later renamed as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in 2010 after the Lisbon Treaty took effect.
8 | Together, the EEAS and EDA jointly form the Secretariat of PESCO.
9 | Federica Mogherini, Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe (Brussels, Belgium, EU, June 2016); https://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/top_stories/pdf/eugs_review_web.pdf.
10 | “EU, French Militaries Prepare to Go It Alone after Brexit, US Warnings,” France24.com, April 9, 2017: http://www.france24.com/en/20170403-france-eu-nato-boost-military-defense- spending-brexit-us-warnings-isolationism.
11 | Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions – European Action Defense Plan (Brussels, Belgium: European Commission, November 30, 2016): https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/com_2016_950_f1_commu- nication_from_commission_to_inst_en_v5_p1_869631.pdf.
12 | This section draws on Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) – Factsheet, op. cit.
13 | “Remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Start of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council in Defence Format (as Delivered),” NATO Newsroom—Speeches and Transcripts, November 13, 2017: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_148840.htm.
14 | Madeleine K. Albright, “The Right Balance Will Secure NATO’s Future,” The Financial Times, December 7, 1998.
15 | “Press Briefing by Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison,” US Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, February 13, 2018: https://nato.usmission.gov/february-13-2018-press-brief- ing-ambassador-kay-bailey-hutchison/.
16 | Aaron Mehta, “US Cautiously Watching EU Military Proposal,” Defense News, February 13, 2018: https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/02/13/us-cautiously-watch- ing-eu-military-proposal/.
17 | Jill Aitoro, “UK Prime Minister May Warns EU Against Freezing Britain Out of Defense Developments,” DefenseNews.com, February 17, 2018: https://www.defensenews.com/ smr/munich-security-forum/2018/02/17/uk-prime-minister-may-warns-eu-against-freez- ing-britian-out-of-defense-developments/.
18 | Some American observers, for example, have been quite supportive of the PESCO initiative. Erik Brattberg of the Carnegie Endowment and Jamie Fly of the US-based German Marshall Fund, have argued that “if they do succeed, the result will be greater European respon- sibility for the Continent’s security and a stronger European pillar within NATO.” Similarly, Shannon Mercer of the Hoover Institution sees it as “far from a NATO-slayer” and forecasts that – provided good implementation generates efficiencies – it will have a “modest role to play.” Sven Biscop of the Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels is also of the view that PESCO is “good news for NATO.” He sees potential for greater European contributions to territorial defense and expeditionary operations within the NATO frame- work, and the added bonus of “autonomous operations in their own periphery, without needing to have recourse to American assets.” See: Erik Brattberg and Jamie Fly, “Two Cheers for European Defense Cooperation,” Foreign Policy, March 9, 2018: https://foreign-policy.com/2018/03/09/two-cheers-for-european-defense-cooperation/; Shannon Mercer, “No, Europe Isn’t Ambushing NATO,” Foreign Policy, January 3, 2018: https://foreignpolicy. com/2018/01/03/no-europe-isnt-ambushing-nato/; and Sven Biscop, “PESCO: Good News for NATO from the EU,” Egmont Royal Institute for International Affairs, February 14, 2018: http://www.egmontinstitute.be/pesco-good-news-nato-eu/.
19 | Ronja Kempin and Barbara Kanz, “Washington Should Help Europe Achieve ‘Strategic Autonomy’, Not Fight It,” War on the Rocks, April 12, 2018: https://warontherocks. com/2018/04/washington-should-help-europe-achieve-strategic-autonomy-not-fight-it/.
20 | Daniel Kochis at The Heritage Foundation sees the pact as the leading edge of an inef- fective “European Army” that will be incapable of defending Europe even as it sidelines the United States, cripples NATO, and empowers unaccountable Euro-federalist bureau- crats in Brussels. T.S. Allen has predicted harm to European security if PESCO excludes and alienates non-EU NATO members. See: Daniel Kochis, “One Step Closer to a Bad Idea: A European Army,” The National Interest, December 24, 2017: https://nationalinterest. org/feature/one-step-closer-bad-idea-european-union-army-23780; and T.S. Allen, “An American Perspective on PESCO: The Dangers of De-Linking EU Defence from NATO,” Policy Exchange, January 7, 2018: https://policyexchange.org.uk/an-american-perspective-on- pesco-the-dangers-of-de-linking-eu-defence-from-nato/.
By contrast, Steven Blockmans of the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels argues PESCO is more likely to be irrelevant than irreparably harmful, arguing that national defense industry lobbies may resist EU-wide co-ordination of investments, so that only new arenas such as cyber and drone warfare are likely to benefit. Ulrike Franke, an expert on new technology in warfare, foresees PESCO rendered impotent by Germany’s insistence on an inclusive block giving rise to a lowest-common denominator approach.” And Andrew Michta argues the main problem with PESCO, as with broader efforts at EU defense integration, is the absence of a larger “architectural vision it needs to coalesce individual states around a coherent EU approach.” See: Steven Blockmans, “Brexit is Allowing Europe to Get Serious about Defending Itself,” CNN.com: https://www.cnn.com/2017/12/12/opinions/brexit-allowing-europe-to-think- about-defense-opinion-blockmans/index.html; Ulrike Esther Franke, “Pesco, the Impotent Gorilla,” European Council on Foreign Relations, November 17, 2017: https://www.ecfr.eu/ article/commentary_pesco_the_impotent_gorilla; and Andrew A. Michta, “Europe Revisits Common Defense, Yet Again…” The American Interest, November 17, 2017: https://www. the-american-interest.com/2017/11/17/europe-revisits-common-defense-yet/.
21 | The Editorial Board, “NATO Doesn’t Need a European Rival,” Bloomberg, November 30, 2017:
22 | See, for example, Vivienne Walt, “Why Macron’s Dream of a Europe-Wide Army Is Likely to Fail,” Time, November 12, 2018.
23 | Andrea Shalal, “Russian Official: Not Worried about EU’s Moves on Defense Pact,” Reuters, November 28, 2017.
24 | Robert Bridge, “Hasta la Vista, NATO? All Systems Go for a European Fighting Force,” RT, November 15, 2017: https://www.rt.com/op-ed/409966-nato-europe-russia-army-war/.
25 | “EU’s PESCO Pact: Viable Alternative to NATO or Much Ado About Nothing?” Radio Sputnik, December 26, 2017: https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201712261060337144-eu-pes- co-nato/.
26 | China’s Policy Paper on the EU: Deepen the China – EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit and Win-Win Cooperation (Beijing, China: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, April 2, 2014): http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjdt_665385/wjzcs/t1143406.shtml.
27 | Thomas Wright and Thorsten Benner, “China’s Relations with US Allies and Partners in Europe—Testimony to the US – China Economic and Security Review Commission,” United States–China Economic and Security Review Commission website, April 5, 2018: https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/USCC%20Hearing_Thorsten%20Benner%20 and%20Thomas%20Wright_Written%20Statement_April%205%2C%202018.pdf.
28 | Ibid.
29 | EU – China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation (Brussels, Belgium: EU External Action Service, 2013): http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/china/docs/eu-china_2020_strate- gic_agenda_en.pdf.
30 | “EU, China to Hold First Dialogue on Security, Defense,” Xinhua, October 10, 2014.
31 | Joint Statement of the 20th EU–China Summit (Brussels, Belgium, EU External Action
Service, July 17, 2018): xxx
32 | Henk Dekker and Jolanda van der Noll, “Chinese Citizens’ Attitudes towards the European Union and their Origins,” University of Nottingham China Policy Institute Briefing Series, August 2011.
33 | Matthis von Hein and Fu Yue, “China’s View of Europe,” Deutsche Welle, August 25, 2015: https://www.dw.com/en/chinas-view-of-europe/a-18671213.
34 | Vincent K. L. Chang and Frank N. Pieke, “Europe’s Engagement with China: Shifting Chinese Views of the EU and the EU – China Relationship,” Asia Europe Journal (2018), pp. 1 – 15.
35 | Noah Barkin and Elizabeth Piper, “In Davos, Xi Makes Case for Chinese Leadership Role,” Reuters, January 17, 2017; Robin Emmett and Noah Barkin, “Exclusive: China Presses Europe for Anti-US Alliance on Trade,” Reuters, July 3, 2018.
36 | Keegan Elmer, “China Fears Europe Will ‘Stab It in the Back’ as Trade Conflict with US Escalates,” South China Morning Post, July 6, 2018.
37 | Benner, et. al., Authoritarian Advance, op. cit.; Francois Godement and Abigaël Vasselier, China at the Gates: A New Power Audit of China – EU Relations (London, UK: European Council on Foreign Relations, December 2017); James Kynge and Michael Peel, “Brussels Rattled as China Reaches Out to Eastern Europe,” FT, November 27, 2017; Thorsten Benner and Jan Weidenfeld, “Europe, Don’t Let China Divide and Conquer,” Politico, April 20, 2018.
38 | Zhou Hong, “The EU Global Strategy after Brexit—A Chinese View,” The International Spectator, vol. 51, no. 3 (2016), pp. 52 – 54.
39 | Chen Chenchen, “Beijing Not Trying to Divide, Conquer Europe,” Global Times, November 29, 2016.
40 | CIIS 研究报告 --第 18期：欧盟全球外交安全战略及其影响 (“CIIS Research Report Vol. 18: Europe’s Global Foreign and Security Strategy and Its Influence”), May 15, 2017.
41 | Ibid.
42 | 孔刚 (Kong Gang), 欧洲联盟共同防务: 当代定位与基本逻辑 (“The European Union’s Common Defense Policy: Orientation and Basic Logic”), 欧洲研究 (Chinese Journal of European Studies), vol. 35, no. 5 (2017).
43 | Zhou, “The EU Global Strategy after Brexit -– A Chinese View,” op. cit.
44 | 杨海峰 (Yang Haifeng), “有原则的务实主义—欧盟外交与安全政策的全球战略评析” (Principled Realism – An Assessment of the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy Global Strategy), 欧洲研究 (Chinese Journal of European Studies), vol. 34, no. 5 (2016).
45 | 李萌 (Li Meng), 欧盟共同防务难离北约影响 (“Europe’s Common Defense Policy Will Struggle to Break Away from NATO’s Influence”), 解放军报 (PLA Daily), October 28, 2016.
46 | 康杰 (Kang Jie), 欧盟防务： 抱团易，取缓难 (EU Defense Affairs: Getting Together is Easy, But Getting Results is Hard), December 11, 2017: http://www.ciis.org.cn/chinese/2017-12/11/content_40100382.htm.
47 | 赵怀普 (Zhao Huaipu), 赵健哲 (Zhao Jianzhe), 欧盟防务一体化加快推进 (“European Defense Integration Accelerates Advance”), 解放军报 (PLA Daily), November 29, 2017: http://www.81.cn/jfjbmap/content/2017-11/29/content_193115.htm.
48 | 欧盟共同防务 盟提速’：充满雄心 前景未定 (European Common Defense ‘Gains Momen- tum’: Full of Bravery, But with an Uncertain Path Ahead), 解 放 军 报 (PLA Daily), January 4, 2018: http://military.people.com.cn/n1/2018/0104/c1011-29744814.html.
49 | It is extremely unlikely that real-world outcomes of EU defense integration will closely ap- proximate these scenarios; they are intended as heuristic devices for exploring possibilities, not as predictions, nor to convey the full universe of possible results.
50 | China’s greatest frustration with NATO probably came in 1999 when it accidentally bombed the PRC’s embassy in Belgrade during operations to end Serbian genocide in Kosovo. At this time, Chinese media routinely railed against “American-led NATO” (以美国为首的北约).
51 | On China’s opposition to US alliances, see David Shambaugh, ed., Power Shift: China and Asia’s New Dynamics (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006); and more recently Adam P. Liff, “China and the US Alliance System,” China Quarterly, April 24, 2017; on China– Russia relations, see Michael S. Chase, Evan S. Medeiros, J. Stapleton Roy, Eugene Rumer, Robert Sutter, and Richard Weitz, eds., Russia – China Relations: Assessing Common Ground and Strategic Fault Lines (Seattle, WA: National Bureau of Asian Research, 2017).