China – Foreign Policy

China's Policy Paper on the EU: Deepen the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

for Mutual Benefit and Win-win Cooperation

Over the past decade since the release of China's first policy paper on the European Union (EU) by the Chinese government in October 2003, the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has made important headway. Guided by the annual China-EU Summit and focusing on the three pillars of political, economic and people-to-people exchanges, China and the EU have promoted all-dimensional, multi-tiered and wide-ranging cooperation to deepen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. China is the EU's second largest trading partner. The EU has been China's top trading partner for 10 years. The annual trade volume has exceeded 550 billion US dollars and there have been over 5 million visits between the two sides each year. China and the EU have worked together to tackle the international financial crisis and advance global governance reform, stepped up communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, and contributed significantly to world peace, development and cooperation. The first China's EU Policy Paper, which has been implemented effectively, has played an important role in guiding the development of China-EU relations.

At a crucial moment when the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership enters its second decade, the Chinese government releases its second EU policy paper to define its EU policy objectives in the new era, draw a blueprint for China-EU cooperation in the next 5 to 10 years and facilitate greater progress in China-EU relations based on a review of the achievements in China-EU relations in the past decade and in the context of international and domestic developments.

I. Seize the Opportunity to Deepen the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit and Win-win Cooperation

In the decade since China issued the first China's EU Policy Paper, tremendous changes have taken place in China, the EU and the world as a whole. Multi-polarity and economic globalization have deepened; cultural diversity and IT application have been enhanced; the overall strength of emerging markets and developing countries has been growing; countries have become more interdependent with their interests more intertwined; and peace, development and win-win cooperation have become the trend of our time. But the world is still far from being tranquil. Destabilizing factors and uncertainties affecting world peace and development are on the rise.

With the significant growth of its overall strength, China is playing an important role in major international and regional affairs. But China remains a developing country that suffers from severe lack of balance, coordination and sustainability in its development. On the domestic front, China is committed to comprehensively deepening reform to make the country a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Internationally, China pursues a greater opening-up and peaceful development. It works to build an open world economy and a new type of international relations featuring equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and win-win cooperation, with a view to contributing more to world peace and common development.

Due to the impact of the international financial crisis, the EU is facing the most serious challenge since the end of the Cold War and has to urgently address a series of deep-seated structural and systemic issues. But its strategic direction of integration remains unchanged. With the efforts of steady enlargement and accelerated structural reform, the EU has worked hard to advance economic, fiscal, financial and political integration. A 28-member EU, the biggest economy in the world with strong overall strength, continues to be a global player of great strategic importance and a key part in the evolving international landscape.

China and the EU, the world's most representative emerging economy and group of developed countries respectively, are two major forces for world peace as they share important strategic consensus on building a multi-polar world. The combined economic aggregate of China and the EU accounts for one third of the world economy, making them two major markets for common development. Being an important representative of the oriental culture and the cradle of western culture and with a combined population accounting for a quarter of the world's total, China and the EU stand as two major civilizations advancing human progress. With no fundamental conflict of interests, China and the EU have far more agreement than differences. Both sides are at a crucial stage of reform and development and China-EU relations face new historic opportunities. Deepening the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit and Win-win Cooperation will provide impetus to the development of China and the EU and contribute to peace and prosperity of the world.

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