This article aims to contribute to the research field of analyzing the external reception of European foreign policy by revealing differing meanings that European and Chinese analysts and policy-makers alike apply to key terms and concepts. These differences in meaning could present one factor that influences the diverging views of the EU's role between Chinese and European EU experts. Following the recalibration of the US foreign policy towards Asia-Pacific, also European pundits and policy-makers have been demanding a more active role in the region as well as engaging regional powers to joint efforts to cope with global challenges.
Concurrently, the academic debate is becoming ever more intense. But how is the EU's role in security affairs in the Asia Pacific seen from the rising power of East Asia, China? Do assessments and analyses in Europe and China match each other? Or deviate significantly? The article aims to give an overview of the current state of debate on the EU as a security actor in general and specifically in the East Asian region in European and Chinese discourses and to identify factors that cause differences between both perspectives. It thereby takes three examples: a different meaning of key terms, deviations in approaches and deviations in the overarching theoretical framework for analysis. Depicting the differing meanings might provide a starting point for a research agenda on the factors and filters that influence norm diffusion from the EU to Asia within its foreign and security policy.European Foreign Affairs Review