Speech of High Representative Catherine Ashton at the EU Strategic Dialogue with China, Gödöllö
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