China and the EU jointly formulated, few years ago, the strategic agenda 2020 for China-EU cooperation. What went right, and what wrong with this cooperation?
Before starting, we provide a link to the original document here.
The agenda includes four main points. Let’s analyze them one by one.
Peace and Security for the world
China and EU, in this aspect, promoted mutual understanding and increase consulting with each other on key points. That includes, for example, China’s role in Africa, Central Asia, and Latin America, where it consistently invested. There is a focus on coordination and cooperation for new wireless communication technology (such as 5G) and international trade and investment. Climate change, nuclear security, cyber security and humanitarian aid are other examples of value. In the past ten years, China’s role as a major investor in developing economies has been more and more clear, and both 5G and humanitarian aid provided during the past year are perfect examples of the respect of the agreement from both sides. Both China and the EU supported a reaction against climate change – promoting anti-pollution policies (for example, the Euro system for vehicles, which was replicated in China through the national standard) and afforestation policies.
Prosperity for EU and China
The prosperity of business and society is extremely important, with a particular focus on SME. As a consequence, China and EU have been increasing their trade interdependency in the past years. Other important focuses are present on industrial cooperation, especially on automotive industry and energy efficiency, as well as Information Technology. In the primary sector, both raw materials and agriculture are further opportunities to cooperate. And the ever-innovative field of biotechnologies with them. Asia-to-Europe infrastructure would be very important to realize all these objectives (and more), and for this reason it is also one of the important points in the agreement. The railway connecting China to Europe is an important example of that, together with the other projects part of the New Silk Road.
Sustainable Development to be promoted worldwide
As The Economist recently pointed out, China is the biggest polluting country of the planet. It is easily understandable why: China has both the biggest population of the planet and the biggest manufacturing industry. It is quite understandable how pollution cannot be easily defeated there. As EU clearly understood that without Chinese manufacturing, pollution will just move elsewhere, it instead promoted cooperation to advocate sustainable development for the benefit of both sides. Another important point is the cooperation with WHO, and in general the good practice of sharing health tips and technologies to fight cancer.
People-to-people exchanges between EU and China
Mutual understanding is probably the most important part of the agreement. As such, the agreement covers more mutual cultural exchanges through programs such as the Erasmus+ and sustainable tourism. Without such principles, indeed, there would have been no chance to properly cooperate in the first place. But with trade wars, politics and pandemic creating more conflicts, this part seems to not be as successful. Still, we can only agree to these principles and put them inside our work. We will do all that it is possible to ensure the growth of global understanding and cooperation, and promote others who do so.