The author seeks to explain and estimate the likely outcomes of growing Chinese interest in European affairs. The author argues that, against the background of a possible decline of the geopolitical importance of the USA and despite internal European problems in the wake of the current financial crisis, an important change in Chinese foreign policy is needed. With the development towards a multipolar world becoming more and more visible, the Sino-European relationship will gain significance. The future role of China and Europe alike will depend on the shape of their relations. The author analyzes Sino-European relations with regard to economic exchange, security issues, the question of human rights and environmental policy.