On a general level, the European Union (EU) dialogue with China is one of the most frequent, the extensive and diverse of all 10 of the EU’s strategic partnerships, European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schulz has said.
“EU-China relations are on a good track,” Schulz said in a written interview as Premier Li Keqiang now is on a Europe trip, noting the latest concrete examples of the fruitful cooperation are the conclusion of the EU-China 2020 Agenda and the launch of investment talks.
“Despite the already well-established ties between China and the EU, there are plenty of opportunities in which further partnership is necessary and welcome,” he said.
He said the positive momentum must be maintained. And the two sides must make sure we can systematically go from words to deeds, noting the efforts will be important especially on issues such as trade and investment, and global issues especially climate change and global economic governance.
With regard to promoting ties, he said trade and investment will continue to be an area where more can be achieved.
“In this regard I hope that both sides can keep up the good progress of the negotiations on the Bilateral Investment Agreement. This agreement will not only facilitate investments but also open the door to further agreements on trade in goods and services,” he said.
The Chinese premier will attend the upcoming Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Milan. Those in attendance include heads of state and government from 51 Asian and European partners and the ASEAN Secretary General.
Schulz said the Europe-Asia meetings are an important platform for the EU to reinforce its relations with Asia as a whole and in that sense with China as well.
And the sessions with bodies such as the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP) or the Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF) during the Europe-Asia meetings will deliver new and fresh ideas to deepen the cooperation.
“The Europe-Asia meetings proved in the past to give a new momentum in our dialogues, and I am sure this will be the case this year as well,” he said.
Schulz also hailed the EU-China partnership as “an essential component for finding answers to global concerns,” such as global and regional security, the economic crisis, global financial and market regulation, energy security, weapons of mass destruction, climate change, and the fight against organized crime, terrorism and piracy.
“For this reason it is obvious that this relationship must be nurtured and used wisely,” he said, noting that on the international scene the EU and China already work together in the areas of conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict stabilization, and cooperation is positive especially on Iran and the Korean Peninsula.
“The EU and China also share a vision of a multilateral world and face common global challenges, so it is logical that we should work together on many international issues,” he said, pointed out “a very obvious area of where we will need to step up cooperation is on climate change issues.”
China has a very important role to play on the international stage and shows signs of good leadership in its immediate region, he added.
Schulz, who is a German Social Democrat, was re-elected as president of the European Parliament in July for another two-and-a- half year term.
“The new European Parliament will maintain a high interest in developments in China and there is considerable scope for strengthening parliamentary ties between the EU and China,” he said.