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Constructing Relations with Hong Kong under 'One Country, Two Systems'. Prospects for the European Union

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image of European Journal of East Asian Studies

In Hong Kong as elsewhere, the European Union (EU) is known more for its collective economic and trade powers than its political clout. Since autumn 2005, the Office of the European Commission in Hong Kong and Macao has steadily stepped up its efforts to disseminate information about the EU. It has also begun to reach out to the local community, while retaining its traditional ties with the elite circles. This study examines the image of the EU according to public opinion in order to identify areas where improvements can be made. By and large, we have found that the image of the EU is rather positive, and the significance of the EU widely recognised. Still, the EU has yet to acquire adequate means of advancing its own values, while systematic collaborations with strategic partners in the non-governmental sectors could be further strengthened to promote the EU's visibility as a global actor that is also relevant to Hong Kong. Moreover, the normative-cum-civilian approach continues to matter in three ways: in the formulation of the EU's policy towards Hong Kong, in promoting the EU as a responsible global actor while EU–China relations develop, and in promoting lesson-learning and sharing of values.

Affiliations: 1: Hong Kong Baptist University


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