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EU updates strategy for dealing with China

Hits:  UpdateTime:2016-06-23 16:55:20

Brussels announced it was updating its strategy in dealing with Beijing, a partner which it says

is rapidly increasing its international influence and should be more closely engaged.

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European

Commission issued a Joint Communication on Wednesday 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 EU should pursue an ambitious agenda of co-operation with China. "China's needs are as

great as ours and failure to cooperate also brings adverse consequences for China," the paper

was cited as saying.

Brussels announced the changes prior to the forthcoming summit in Beijing in the first half of July

and European Commission said the elements in the paper can be used to prepare the summit.

The European Commission's last Communication on China was adopted a decade ago in 2006.

Brussels says the EU and China have both undergone considerable changes since then and China

has a stronger presence in all regions of the world, economically and politically.

"This new reality calls for a fresh EU narrative that recognize 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," the paper was cited as saying.

Federica Mogherini, the High Representative and Vice-President of European Commission

said: "The European Union and China already cooperate on so much...and the Joint

Communication that we have adopted today will, I am sure, enable our relationship to fulfill its

clear potential."

She said China and the EU have worked together on the global and political issues of the 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 organizations can all benefit from a closer, improved, and better-defined EU-China relationship

based on shared responsibility," she added.

The Joint Communication identifies major opportunities for the EU's relationship with China, in

particular 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 Jean-Claude Juncker's Commission.

According to the paper, 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.

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," the official position paper said.

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