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Prospects and Challenges for EU-China Relations in the 21st Century

The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement

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Edited By Jing Men and Giuseppe Balducci

In 25 years, EU-China relations have come far, further than many could have imagined – but how much further can these relations be taken? Today, their bilateral relations are at a crossroads. In effect, it has been 25 years since the EU and China agreed upon the legally binding Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement, which sets the basis for their diplomatic relations. In an ever increasingly complex and globalised international environment, these actors have become mutually interdependent on a variety of levels. In 2007, they agreed to revise and update the 1985 accord and replace it with an all-encompassing Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. However, more than three years passed, and there are many points of contention which need to be negotiated. What obstacles are blocking this agreement? How can these obstacles be overcome? What concessions should be made and where?
This book will provide an up-to-date analysis of the problematic concerns, and the means to resolve these issues, that range from human rights, to international trade conflicts and climate change.

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Foreword (Pierre Defraigne) 15

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15 Foreword Pierre DEFRAIGNE It is an honour for me to present this collection of papers, based on the International Workshop dedicated to the European Union (EU)-China Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), organised by the College of Europe on 3 April 2009. The College has indeed put China among its main fields of research and teaching, thanks also to the InBev-Baillet Latour Fund and to the holder of the InBev-Baillet Latour Chair, Professor Jing Men. This workshop marked the second event within the framework of the College’s extracurricular activities on EU-China Relations1 and focused on the EU-China relationship with regard to the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), and conducted in the context of the world economic crisis and its recovery process. In my view the most serious hurdle to building such a genuine Sino-European partnership is the very fact that the EU, for all its impressive accomplishments, is still not regarded as a true strategic player from the Chinese perspective. Put simply, for a genuine partnership to take shape both Europe and China need to take the EU seriously. The current impasse has occurred for two reasons. On the one hand, the EU is not yet a unified international actor, nor is it a fully-fledged civilian power. At the latest G20 summit, President Obama was standing alone with a population of 350 millions and the world’s largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP). President Hu Jintao was China’s sole representative with 1.3 billion people and the world’s third largest GDP (in PPP)...

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