The European Union sets its sights high on ambitions with China (22/06/2016)
The High Representative of the Union for Foreign
Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission today adopted a
Joint Communication, entitled "Elements for a new EU strategy on China",
which maps out the European Union's relationship with China for the
next five years.
The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission today adopted a Joint Communication,
entitled "Elements for a new EU strategy on China", which maps out the
European Union's relationship with China for the next five years.
Federica Mogherini, the High Representative/Vice-President, said: "The
European Union and China already cooperate on so much: we work together
on the global and political issues of our times, such as Iran, Syria,
Afghanistan, migration and climate change. But we can and must do more
to connect the European Union and China. Our citizens, industries, and
organisations can all benefit from a closer, improved, and
better-defined EU-China relationship based on shared responsibility.
The Joint Communication that we have adopted today will, I am sure, enable our relationship to fulfil its clear potential."
The Joint Communication
identifies major opportunities for the EU's relationship with China, in
particular with the aim of creating jobs and growth in Europe as well
as vigorously promoting a greater opening up of the Chinese market to
European business, thus contributing to the first priority of President
Such opportunities include concluding an ambitious and comprehensive
agreement on investment, a Chinese contribution to the Investment Plan
for Europe (*), joint research and innovation activities, as well as
connecting the Eurasian continent via a physical and digital network
through which trade, investment and people-to-people contact can flow.
Looking further ahead, broader ambitions such as a deep and
comprehensive Free Trade Agreement can be considered once an ambitious
investment agreement between the two sides has been concluded and
reforms that level the playing field for domestic and foreign companies
have been implemented. In this regard, China must make significant,
time-bound and verifiable cuts in industrial over-capacity, notably in
the steel sector, to prevent negative consequences from unfair
competition. Further strengthening the effectiveness of the EU's Trade
Defence Instruments, notably through the swift adoption of the
Commission's Trade Defence Instruments modernisation proposal of April
2013, is key. The EU will continue to support China's economic and
social reform programme through its many dialogues with China so that
the country can reap the full benefits of market-led reform, including
by eliminating state-induced economic distortions and reforming
The Joint Communication
also highlights opportunities for closer cooperation and partnership
between the EU and China in the fields of foreign and security policy.
Building on the positive experience of the Iran nuclear talks, the
European Union and China should work more closely together in order to
resolve international conflicts and foreign policy priorities both
bilaterally and in multilateral contexts such as the UN system and in
the G20. Issues of a global nature like migration, international
development assistance, the environment and fighting climate change can
only be resolved through a global response, and for this reason a
collaborative EU-China relationship is crucial.
The EU's engagement with China will be principled, practical and
pragmatic, staying true to its interests and values, in particular
adherence to international rules and norms, and respect for human
rights. The EU should continue to work cohesively and effectively as a
coherent block to achieve ambitious objectives on behalf of European
The Joint Communication will now be presented to the Council and to the European Parliament.
The European Commission's last Communication on China in 2006 was
adopted a decade ago. The EU and China have both undergone considerable
changes since then. China is becoming more present in all regions of the
world, economically and politically. This new reality calls for a fresh
EU narrative that recognises the need to deal with these new
developments. The EU's new strategy therefore sets out to promote EU
interests and underline EU values in its relationship with China for the
next five years.