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New Players, New Rules: Galileo and EU-China Relations Tom Kane Xiudian Dai.

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Presentation on theme: "New Players, New Rules: Galileo and EU-China Relations Tom Kane Xiudian Dai."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Players, New Rules: Galileo and EU-China Relations Tom Kane Xiudian Dai

2 US Hegemony There were two main operating technologies in GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) in the 1990s – GPS from the USA – GLONASS from Russia GPS being a de facto global standard Free access to GPS signals but only in part USA could ‘switch off’ any country

3 New Players The EU decided to build its own GNSS Galileo in 1998 The EU entered partnerships with non- European countries, principally China, to jointly develop Galileo China pledged €200 million Meanwhile, China wanted to build its own Beidou2/Compass system

4 A New World Order of GNSS? The EU was unhappy about totally relying upon GPS Galileo was declared a ‘civilian’ system, but would technologically underpin the EU’s CFSP The PRC do not have access to the ‘M-code’ of GPS, hence an independent space programme is a strategic necessity EU-China cooperation: strategically sensitive

5 American Response Initially: no need for an alternative system Then: Galileo should be compatible and interoperable with GPS Meanwhile: EU-China cooperation would pose threat to US security US reminded the EU of the arms embargo Influenced by US, NATO never expressed support to Galileo

6 Implications of USA Position The USA did not wish to see the emergence of a challenger on the other side of the Atlantic; the status quo of the existing GNSS world order should not be changed Strategically sensitive technologies should not be shared with the Chinese

7 EU Position on China (1) EU initially rejected American concerns by insisting on the civilian nature of Galileo But when interviewed, EC official in Brussels did not deny the possibility that Galileo technologies could serve military purposes The importance of China to Galileo is now much reduced in terms of contribution and ownership

8 EU Position on China (2) In Nov 2007, the governance structure of Galileo was changed from a PPP model to direct government ownership and management The European Commission centred governance structure and EU funding make it very difficult for China to participate The EU is now concerned with competition of the Chinese Compass

9 Navigating for Power (1) The USA wanted to keep the PRC in the satellite navigation slow lane The EU disappointed the PRC by not offering access to its Public Regulated Service Galileo became increasingly more tilted towards accommodating US demands The PRC’s €200 shopping list was not honoured by the Europeans…

10 Navigating for Power (2) The truth is: Compass has more satellites in space than Galileo Compass uses frequencies that overlap with those to be used by Galileo Compass will likely be ahead of Galileo in broadcasting signals By international law, the EU might have to get PRC’s permission for using the same frequencies and the latter can say ‘no’.

11 Navigating for Power (3) During a recent interview, a European Commission official expressed a high degree of frustration over the difficult process of negotiating with the Chinese Technically speaking, Compass could significantly cripple Galileo through frequency overlay EC Delegation to Beijing: China should be treated by the EU as an equal partner rather than a developing country in science and technology (Interview)

12 Concluding Remarks The case of Galileo tells us: – The EU and the PRC have a shared strategic vision: US hegemony should and can be challenged – The EU and the PRC recognise the importance of partnership but any partnership can be sabotaged by self-interest – The US plays a significant role in EU-China relations – China, in this case, appeared to be a more serious challenger than the EU to US hegemony

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