Europeans have been growing frustrated with the Chinese, especially in relation to China’s business practices. The European Union is going to give Beijing a list of tasks and demands to address the many frustrations and improve bilateral cooperation. To make the process more balanced, Brussels is also offering to look into the feasibility of joint investment projects to construct railway corridors between Europe and China. “We are ready to offer China a very comprehensive relation,” a senior EU official said.
The new set of “line items” is meant to be signed during the EU-China summit that will take place on 9 April in Brussels with the objective of rebalancing the trade and economic relationship between both sides. The package will also set a few deadlines to open up the Chinese economy and address low-hanging deliverables to boost cooperation on energy and competition. “We hope it will be received well,” the senior EU official commented while Chinese Ambassador to the EU, Zhang Ming, said that his country continues to open up its economy at a “reasonable pace”.
Mr. Zhang Ming also said that the frustrations of the Europeans were going to be addressed gradually. Gunhard Wiegand of the EEAS said that it was no secret that China was no democracy and that both Europe and China have different views of the rule of law and human rights. Brexit aside, China has been very high on the EU’s agenda. The EU Commission has recently published a report in which it said China was a cooperation and negotiating partner in some areas but also as “an economic competitor in the pursuit of technological leadership, and a systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance”.