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Expert: The new EU leadership will be more beneficial to China

By Zhang Qian (People's Daily Online)    10:16, January 12, 2015
Song Xinning, a professor and director of the Center for European Studies at Renmin University of China.(People's Daily Online/Zhang Qian)

At the "International Senior Forum of China 2015: major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics” on January 5, Song Xinning, a professor and director of the Center for European Studies at Renmin University of China, spoke about EU issues.

With a new EU leadership in place following the EU elections in 2014, there will be a new round of China-EU Summits between EU leaders and Chinese leaders in May 2015. Song believes that this new leadership, with Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission and Donald Franciszek Tusk as the President of the European Council, will be of benefit to China.

Song thinks that the words "peace and security", "growth and development", "reform and governance" and "civilization and culture" define the new partnership between China and Europe.

The year 2013 marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. The "China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation" was issued to determine China-EU cooperation in the fields of peace and security, prosperity, sustainable development, cultural exchanges, and other areas of common goals.

Song noted that China's policy towards the EU has become more pragmatic since 2013.

Firstly, the strategic agenda is not just empty words. It is a detailed plan for the next decade, and is closely related to China's domestic issues.

Secondly, the plan does not contemplate lifting the ban on arms sales against China or give China full market economy status, focusing instead on other achievable goals on both sides.

Thirdly, China's new leaders have visited Europe several times since they took office, developing cooperation with Europe in fields such as urbanization, energy security and social security. These issues have an important impact on quality of life.

A fourth major change in China's policy towards the EU is to use the relationship with the EU as a counterbalance to China's relationship with the United States. Sino-US relations and Sino-EU relations are managed differently, in order to promote common characteristics between China and Europe.

“Since there are no potential trouble spots, China-EU relations will be positive for both sides and will strengthen the cooperation between China and the EU. The key goal of a new strategic partnership between China and the EU is to find common characteristics between two sides and develop them through cooperation, rather than each seeking to exploit the other", Song said. 

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(Editor:Zhang Qian,Yao Chun)

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