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International Partnership
EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation

EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation
EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation

China is the largest country by population in the world (1.4 billion) and with a GDP of €12 trillion, the world’s second largest in PPP terms. Between 1978 and 2013, the Chinese economy grew by an average rate of 10% a year, producing a tenfold increase in average adult income. This lifted around 800 million people out of poverty and dramatically improved a wide range of human development indicators. Nevertheless, regional differences remain significant, and China is classified as an upper middle-income country with a GDP per capita of around €8,500 (roughly 54% the EU average in PPP terms). The EU and China are committed to a comprehensive strategic partnership: EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.


The world's trends toward multipolarity and economic globalisation are deepening. The importance of cultural diversity is growing, and an information society is fast emerging. Countries are increasingly interdependent, with their interests more closely intertwined than ever before. On the other hand, the world is still far from being peaceful. The global financial crisis has had a far-reaching impact. Imbalance in global development has widened. International and local conflicts keep breaking out. Conventional and non conventional security issues are interwoven. However, peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit have become the trend of the times. Promoting multilateralism remains crucial to ensure effective, coordinated and coherent responses to pressing global challenges. As important actors in a multipolar world, the EU and China commit to enhancing dialogue and coordination at bilateral, regional and global levels, to meet regional and global challenges together, and work to make the international order and system more just and equitable.

This will be achieved by the following key initiatives:


  • Consult fully and effectively on major bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern. Enhance coordination on strategic, political and security issues within the EU-China High Level Strategic Dialogue. Use this platform to increase mutual understanding, deepen mutual trust, build common ground, and provide strategic support for promoting bilateral relations and safeguarding international peace and development.

  • Strengthen dialogue and communication on international and regional issues with major implications at the global level. Enhance consultations on Africa, Central Asia, Latin America and the respective neighbourhoods of the EU and China.

  • Reinforce cooperation in all relevant trans-regional and regional fora, in particular ASEM and the ARF, and contribute to sustainable development and the building of an equal, open, transparent and inclusive regional architecture in Asia. Both sides agree that the EU's participation in the East Asia Summit, based on consensus, would be useful. 

  • Reinforce cooperation in multilateral fora, including coordination before major meetings, to establish a rules-based, more efficient, transparent, just and equitable system of global governance, emphasise multilateralism and the central role of the UN in international affairs and value the role of multilateral organizations and platforms such as the G20. The EU looks forward to China hosting a forthcoming G20 summit.

  • Strengthen coordination and cooperation, working for just, reasonable, and effective rules in key fields, such as international trade and investment, finance, environment and climate change, the Internet and a new generation of wireless communication technology.

  • Reinforce cooperation on promoting nuclear security, strengthening the international non-proliferation regime and related export control arrangements, and combatting the smuggling of nuclear material.

  • Support and promote the establishment of a peaceful, secure, resilient and open cyber space, promoting mutual trust and cooperation through such platforms as the EU-China Cyber Taskforce.

  • Deepen exchanges on human rights at the bilateral and international level on the basis of equality and mutual respect. Strengthen the Human Rights Dialogue with constructive discussions on jointly agreed key priority areas.

  • Strengthen EU-China cooperation under the framework of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Collaborate on projects combating transnational crime, illegal migration, and cyber-crime, and hold special consultations on issues of anti-terrorism at an appropriate time. The EU and China should keep each other informed on criminal activities, organised crime, illicit trade in small arms, abduction, human smuggling, illegal migration, trafficking in human beings, money-laundering, counterfeiting and drugs, as well as economic and financial cases, and take joint actions. Cooperation on police training should be strengthened.

  • Hold regular dialogues on defense and security policy, increase training exchanges, and gradually raise the level of EU-China dialogue and cooperation on defense and security, advancing towards more practical cooperation.

  • Continue cooperation on maritime security, including on counter-piracy, and conduct joint counter-piracy exercises.

  • Develop joint activities to promote maritime safety and security; share expertise in relation to relevant international law; develop exchanges on the Arctic, including joint research projects.

  • Intensify co-operation with a view to promoting and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid solely based on the needs of people affected by disaster or crisis, and in accordance with humanitarian principles.

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