The 20th EU-China Summit was held today in Beijing, China, and resulted in agreements on the circular economy, climate change and emissions trading.
The agenda for the summit covered many topics across the breadth and depth of the relationship between the EU and China, and highlighted a number of areas where greater participation and collaboration could have a positive impact. These topics included the circular economy, investment, oceans, clean energy, climate change and emissions trading.
The results of the summit include a number of agreements covering these priority areas, such as a partnership agreement on oceans aimed at improving international governance, combating illegal fishing, and exploring the potential for business and research opportunities in the realm of clean energy technologies.
Further to this, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang issued a joint leaders’ statement on climate change and clean energy, in which they committed to increase co-operation in the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through political, technical, economic and scientific means.
What other commitments were made at the summit?
Outside of environmental concerns, the summit focused on trade, and the two parties reiterated their commitment to applying a rules-based, transparent and inclusive framework to its multilateral trading system, and also agreed to co-operate on reforming the World Trade Organization, which forms the core of the two powers’ trade.
Beyond concrete agreements, discussions of security co-operation in China and the EU’s respective neighbourhoods, including ways to support a peaceful solution to the conflict between North and South Korea, and the future of the JCPoA.
What does the summit mean for the future of EU-China relations?
Emphasising the need for a strong relationship with China, EU leader Juncker said that efforts so far have been of great value for both parties. However, he also suggested that there is room for significant extra progress to be made with renewed commitments.
Juncker stated: “I have always been a strong believer in the potential of the EU-China partnership, and in today’s world that partnership is more important than ever before. Our cooperation simply makes sense… But we also know that we can do so much more… We want to create more opportunities for people in China and in Europe.”