The mounting tensions between China and its neighbours over the sovereignty over the islands and waters of the South and East China Seas are another example of a classic geopolitical issue that Europe cannot ignore. The refugee and migration crisis showed that Europe was willing to show but little solidarity with people from other countries. In Europe, conditionality as a way of promoting well-governed democratic states is accepted more widely by the European Union’s (EU) partners, certainly if there is the prospect of accession to the EU. Armenia and Azerbaijan have a much more vague relation with the idea of Europe, which is mirrored in the vagueness of European strategy for the region. Outside Europe, however, and particularly in its southern neighbours, conditionality is seen as a return to the past rather than a return to normality. Every European scholar visiting China, for example, has been confronted with a strong sense of Schadenfreude.