Trade and business have long been the backbone of EU-China relations. But as both Europe and China expand their regional and global presence, there are an increasing number of areas where EU-China cooperation and consultation have become a compelling necessity. Building on successful efforts to work together in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, Beijing and Brussels are interested in further developing their security and defence cooperation.
China is also working closely with the EU and EU+3 countries on talks on the Iranian nuclear programme. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has an important role to play in global peacekeeping operations. Chinese contributions are also essential to ensure the success of the UN Conference on Climate Change in November.
Can China and the EU work more closely together to tackle regional and global crises, including North Korea and in the Middle East, Libya and Afghanistan? What should be the key priorities – and what are the advantages of – a truly strategic EU-China partnership?
Since the world is expected to become even more complicated, can the EU and China forge a new way of dealing with complexities by thinking strategically and working to prevent crises?