This report was commissioned by the provincial government of Noord-Brabant (North Brabant) in the Netherlands. It aims to provide insights into how the province can further develop its relations with China, in particular in view of the interrelation between economic opportunities and international political developments.
While China is a fast-growing investor in the Netherlands, political relations between the Netherlands and China are becoming more complex as geopolitical factors and increasingly relevant. This poses new challenges for subnational government bodies, which are neither mandated nor equipped to deal with international political issues.
In interactions with Chinese companies and state institutions, however, economics and politics cannot be kept fully separate. In China, the government actively intervenes in the economy, including in foreign economic relations. Moreover, the economic ties between China and the West are becoming increasingly politicised as a result of geopolitical developments. This report will outline significant trends, discuss relevant questions, and provide policy recommendations.