Spotlight: Scholars say China's policy paper on EU reflects importance of ties

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-19 17:42:13|Editor: Li Xia
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BEIJING, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Scholars from European Union (EU) countries said they see the importance of their bloc in China's future plans for partners in the third policy paper on the EU China issued Tuesday.

The paper, following the ones issued on 2003 and 2014, aims at identifying the direction, principles and specific measures to deepen the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in the new era and promote greater development of China-EU relations.

The paper, unveiled at an opportune moment in the current global context of a wave of protectionism and unilateralism, reflects on the dynamic changes of global affairs and the developments and prospects of China-EU relations, scholars said.


The policy paper noted that the year 2018 marks the 15th anniversary of the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the 20th anniversary of the China-EU Summit.

"Developing a sound relationship with the EU has long been a foreign priority for China," the paper read.

EU Spokeswoman Esther Osorio said the bloc welcomes the paper and will carefully analyze the content of it.

Carl Fey, professor at the Business School of Aalto University in Helsinki, told Xinhua that the third policy paper highlighted the importance of China-Europe interaction on business, technology, and other areas.

The new text tries to send a message that the EU has become more important to China due to increased uncertainties in the international system and rising protectionism, Tamas Matura, assistant professor at Corvinus University of Budapest, said.

Thus, Matura said, the policy paper offered an attractive list of promises to the EU.


Since the inception of the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2003, the two sides have broadened and deepened their relations and fostered all-dimensional, multi-tiered and wide-ranging exchanges and cooperation, the paper read.

In his historic visit to the EU headquarters in 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping reached important consensus with EU leaders on building China-EU partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization, charting the course for deepening the win-win China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and setting out the overarching goals of China's policy on the EU in the long run, it noted.

Relations between the EU and China are quite good, according to Alessia Amighini, co-head of Asia Center and senior associate research fellow with the Italian Institute of International Political Studies.

There are multiple open channels between Europe and China, Amighini said.

Viktor Eszterhai, senior researcher with Hungarian research institute PAGEO, took note of the common interests shared by the EU and China, such as the "orderly" implementation of Brexit, the rejection of anti-globalization and the maintenance of the international trading system.

"China's recently issued policy paper on the EU puts special emphasis on the matter of these common interests and declares that Beijing is ready to show more understanding toward the European critics and fears, including market access, trade imbalances and intellectual property rights protection," the scholar said.

This is in accordance with the concrete gestures given by the Chinese government to European companies, Eszterhai said.


The five-part policy paper detailed Chinese propositions on China-EU cooperation in a wide range of areas including politics, security, defense, trade, investment, connectivity, fiscal and financial fields, scientific research, innovation, emerging industries, sustainable development, social and people-to-people cooperation.

The paper pointed out that the two sides need to stand firmly against unilateralism and protectionism, push for a more open, inclusive and balanced economic globalization beneficial to all.

China offers the EU constructive cooperation based on mutual interests, which is the only adequate means to fight protectionism, one of the main threats to the multilateral system, said Ivona Ladjevac, senior researcher at the Institute of International Politics and Economics in Belgrade.

Jani Riissanen, senior vice president of Metsa Fibre, a giant Finnish pulp producer, said his company is utilizing the China-Europe Railway Express to enlarge its market in China.

Asked to comment on the Chinese call for synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and EU development plans, he said "if we can build this kind of cooperation together and make business easier, that is good for us."

Riissanen agreed with the remarks that urges concerned parties to facilitate business cooperation and give security for goods and people, saying it is important for the growing export of pulp and sawn timber from Finland to China.

Xulio Rios, director of Spain's Observatory of Chinese Politics, said the document reveals the close cooperation that China and the EU develop in numerous fields, counting on an institutional structure and lines of action in the most diverse areas, a high value capital that has been accumulated over the last decades and that ensures a broad framework to deal constructively with disagreements that may arise between them.

"It must not be spoiled," Rios said.