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

The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement


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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CHAPTER 7 The EU-China Partnership. Forging a New Space on Global Climate Change (Edward Cameron & Hilary McMahon) 173


173 CHAPTER 7 The EU-China Partnership Forging a New Space on Global Climate Change Edward CAMERON & Hilary MCMAHON1 This chapter looks at how the pivotal partnership between the EU and China can forge a new space for climate change policy and other innovations leading to a post-2012 global climate change consensus. In January 2007, when launching the EU’s integrated energy and climate change strategy, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said “we must act now to shape tomorrow’s world.”2 To this sentiment he might have added “and we must act together.” While recognising the primacy of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, the ongoing international negotiations on climate change, our founding assumption is that an enhanced partnership between the EU and China is essential to securing the large-scale political, economic and technological transform- ation needed to ensure “the stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”3 Forging the space for this transformation will be difficult. From a political standpoint, agreement within the UNFCCC process will remain out of reach in the absence of buy-in and active support from the EU and China. Long-term implementation of the agreement will be difficult unless both parties feel they are properly equipped and resourced to deliver on their commitments while also safeguarding their respective agendas for sustained economic growth. For the EU, this means 1 The opinions and analysis expressed in this paper are strictly...

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