EU-China, pre-summit briefing: Europe, China and a changed global order

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Global Europe
EU-China, pre-summit briefing: Europe, China and a changed global order


With an “up-ended” global order that has pitched the world into a maelstrom of uncertainty, there’s perhaps a sharper focus than usual on the upcoming 20th EU-China summit, being held this month in Beijing. With this and another key July meeting – involving China and the ‘16+1’ Central and Eastern European countries – set to shape the next phase in this multi-faceted relationship, Friends of Europe hosted the roundtable discussion “Europe, China and a changed global order” on 2 July to discuss the hopes, expectations and challenges ahead.

The summit comes at a crucial time in which we face a “global diplomacy deficit,” according to Shada Islam, Director of Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe, not least with US President Donald Trump up-ending the international multi-lateral rules-based order in myriad ways. In spite of the uncertain times, however, Zhang Ming, Ambassador of China to the EU, assured participants that China is committed to extending its cooperation with Europe, and highlighted the role that China-EU relations could play in stabilising this changing world.

He and Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and Pacific at the European External Action Service (EEAS) Directorate for Asia and the Pacific, went on to note that some of the key issues to come up at the Summit will include navigating the complex – some say unbalanced – economic relationship; achieving goals on climate change and sustainable development; working together on foreign policy issues like Iran and the Korean peninsula; and finding synergies in how we progress global connectivity and prosperity, including via China’s game-changing Belt and Road Initiative.

In all of this, the true success of both the Summit and future cooperation between China and the EU will be measured by the ability to move from words to action.



Ahead of the 20th EU-China Summit planned to be held in Beijing in July 2018, this by-invitation-only roundtable debate will bring together around 30 senior stakeholders from the EU institutions, governments and the private sector for a forward-looking conversation on what to expect from the summit, as well as the state of relations between the EU and China. The discussion will be interactive and focused on ways to take EU-China relations to a higher level.

Related content:
Can EU-China cooperation save the Paris agreement?” by Céline Charveriat
It’s time for a united Europe to stand up to China” by Neena Gill
The new logic of China’s global influence” by Chunrong Liu
As Trump embarks on Asia trip, it’s Europe that is really pivoting to Asia” by Shada Islam



Welcome and registration of participants
EU-China, pre-summit briefing
Expand EU-China, pre-summit briefing

The rapidly-changing and increasingly fragile global order spotlights the European Union and China as champions of the multilateral rulebook. Both the EU and China are committed to safeguarding international peace and stability, implementing pledges made on climate change and Agenda 2030 and are resisting a worldwide slide into protectionism. The bilateral EU-China relationship is equally multi-faceted, with Brussels and Beijing currently discussing the impact of US trade policies on the global trading environment but also bilateral investment flows, access to markets and the many ways in which the Belt and Road Initiative impacts on Europe and the world.

  • How are Europe and China working together to deal with Iranian and North Korean nuclear plans?
  • What are the possible synergies for EU-China cooperation on climate change and Agenda 2030?
  • Can Europe and China overcome their different approaches and join forces on global connectivity initiatives?


Shada Islam

Managing Director at New Horizons Project


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