EU Strategic Dialogue with China

Speech of High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cather­ine Ash­ton at the EU Strate­gic Dia­logue with Chi­na, Gödöl­lö
Good after­noon.
This is the sec­ond meet­ing of the EU-Chi­na High Lev­el Strate­gic Dia­logue between State Coun­cil­lor Dai Bing­guo and myself.
We held our first meet­ing on 1 Sep­tem­ber 2010 in Chi­na, in his home­town Guiyang.
I am pleased and hon­oured to rec­i­p­ro­cate the invi­ta­tion and wel­come him to Europe.

I know that Coun­cil­lor Dai is par­tic­u­lar­ly fond of Budapest, hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly served as Ambas­sador to Hungary.

I wish to thank the peo­ple of Budapest for their warm wel­come and, in par­tic­u­lar, thank the Hun­gar­i­an author­i­ties for help­ing us to organ­ise today’s meeting.

The Strate­gic Dia­logue is an essen­tial part of the post-Lis­bon rela­tion­ship between the EU and Chi­na. It reflects the great impor­tance that the EU and I per­son­al­ly attach to our strate­gic part­ner­ship with China.

The EU-Chi­na Strate­gic Dia­logue has enabled us to address sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly sev­er­al key glob­al issues that are of impor­tance for both of us.

You may recall that last year’s talks paved the way for the Euro­pean Coun­cil dis­cus­sions on the EU’s rela­tions with its strate­gic partners.

One of the defin­ing themes of the EU lead­ers’ dis­cus­sions was how to exploit the full poten­tial of our strate­gic coop­er­a­tion with China.

Chi­na and Europe are key play­ers in inter­na­tion­al rela­tions and China’s emer­gence on the glob­al stage is extreme­ly impressive.

Our part­ner­ship already goes beyond bilat­er­al rela­tions and our goal is to work togeth­er on issues of glob­al inter­est and concern. 

The EU-Chi­na rela­tion­ship should be an exam­ple of inter­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion for the 21st cen­tu­ry. We cov­ered a num­ber of inter­na­tion­al issues and focused in par­tic­u­lar on North Africa and Asia. I lis­tened with great inter­est to what Chi­na plans to achieve under its lat­est Five-Year Plan. We dis­cussed the human rights sit­u­a­tion in Chi­na, where I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to set out the EU’s views.

We reviewed our bilat­er­al rela­tions, and looked at the EU 2020 Strat­e­gy and China’s Five-Year Plan, where there is untapped poten­tial for con­cert­ed actions in areas such as green growth and the low car­bon economy.

We are deter­mined to start real coop­er­a­tion projects on issues such as sus­tain­able urban­i­sa­tion. I want us to be able togeth­er to achieve the goals set out in the Shang­hai Expo´s “Bet­ter City, Bet­ter Life” project.

Europe has very advanced sus­tain­able urban devel­op­ment mod­els. Sta­ble devel­op­ment in Chi­na is of great inter­est to us.

We also dis­cussed oth­er areas where we could set up coop­er­a­tion projects, includ­ing on cyber security.

Next week, Pres­i­dent Van Rompuy will vis­it Chi­na to con­tin­ue the EU-Chi­na dialogue.

For both myself and I believe, Coun­cil­lor Dai the impor­tance of inten­si­fy­ing our dia­logue and deep­en­ing our under­stand­ing and mutu­al trust was an impor­tant theme of our talks today.

We share the sense that, by work­ing close­ly togeth­er, the EU and Chi­na can bet­ter tack­le the huge chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties before us. 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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