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Europe and China: Rivals or strategic partners?

Author : Understanding China
The world order is changing rapidly with “the 21st Century being the Asia-Pacific Century” Zoltán Martinusz, Principle Adviser on External Relations to Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council said in an opening address at the Understanding China Policy Summit on November 29. Asian perspectives are moving up the global agenda, Martinusz told the meeting which brought together European and Chinese policymakers, business leaders and academics to discuss whether Europe and China were rivals or strategic partners.

The European Union needs to establish a partnership with Asia’s economic powerhouse, China, “as a matter of strategic necessity”, said speakers at the conference. Chinese Ambassador to the EU Song Zhe, delivering a message by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, said it was critical that China and the EU continued to expand and deepen cooperation. The Chinese Premier welcomed the launch of the China-Europe Forum, a joint initiative by Friends of Europe and the Chinese Mission to the EU following the Understanding China programme and thereby ensuring the sustainability of this European Commission funded project.

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