The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Weekly Watch
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Sino-EU Bonds Continue
Cover Stories Series 2012> Sino-EU Bonds Continue
UPDATED: September 26, 2012 NO. 40 OCTOBER 4, 2012
Rediscover Sino-EU Ties

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's attendance at the recent China-EU Summit in Brussels capped his vigorous efforts to nurture and advance Sino-EU relations.

While the EU is China's top trading partner and largest source of technology imports, China has become the EU's second largest trading partner. Building on past achievements, Wen called for more actions. At the summit, he suggested launching negotiations on a China-EU investment treaty and initiating a feasibility study on a China-EU free trade agreement. He also underscored the importance of financial cooperation, such as the use of the yuan, the Chinese currency, by European firms in cross-border trade and investment.

A decade into his career as China's head of government, Wen has spearheaded the Sino-EU relationship at a time of dramatic changes, fueled largely by China's economic takeoff. While giving impetus to the relationship, China's emergence is tilting the balance. Unlike past conditions wherein China looked to the EU for investment and assistance, the EU—now mired in a persistent debt crisis—is counting on China to lend a helping hand. The shift of power demands that both sides adjust the way they view one another and their relationship.

At the summit in September, Wen reaffirmed China's commitment to supporting the EU's efforts to resolve debt problems. China has offered $43 billion to boost the IMF's crisis-fighting capacity. In recent months, it has invested in government bonds of eurozone countries. These initiatives show China has lived up to the responsibilities associated with its rising status.

At the same time, China expects the EU to drop outdated practices that do not reflect the new dynamics in their relations. For instance, the arms embargo, imposed more than two decades ago, runs counter to the strategic nature of Sino-EU ties today. It is also unwise for the EU to refuse to recognize China as a full market economy given the fact that China will gain market economy status automatically by 2016 in accordance with WTO rules. On top of these are trade frictions, which escalated recently following the EU's decision to start a formal anti-dumping investigation into Chinese solar panels. China opts for addressing trade disputes through consultations instead of protectionist measures.

Beijing's unmet expectations testify to the difficulties the EU has encountered in adapting to China's rapid development. To relieve these growing pains, the EU should be more at ease with China's rise, which presents more opportunities than challenges to Europe. But disagreements will not outweigh interdependence and shared interests. More importantly, cooperation between the largest developing country and the largest bloc of developed countries is conducive to stimulating global economic growth and shaping fairer and more equitable international systems. In light of these significant benefits, Sino-EU bonds, cemented by Wen over the past decade, will continue to flourish in the years to come.

Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved