This article looks at the linkages between export to the European Union (EU), export to china and human rights policies. The article argues that countries that export to the EU at high rates are more likely to converge towards its policies than countries that don’t export to the EU. The article also argues that the rise of China as a significant economic actor does not undermine this process. The article tests these arguments by analysing the links between human rights protection in the EU and in China, and export to the EU and to China, on the one hand, and human rights protection in all the countries for which there are data, on the other. The results indicate that countries’ human rights policies are positively associated with the EU’s human rights policies and this association is conditioned by countries’ levels of export to the EU. The results further indicate that export to China does not undermine this pattern. The article draws conceptual and policy implications.
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