Three Faces of China - EU Cooperation, from the Beijing Olympics to One Belt, One Road
European Union Academic Programme – Macau Bi-annual Conference, ‘60 Years after the Treaties of Rome: What is the Future for the European Union?’, Faculty of Law, University of Macau, 27-28 November 2017
42 Pages Posted: 10 May 2018
Date Written: April 24, 2018
In this paper we consider three significant social fields of cooperation between China and the European Union (EU) since 2008: energy, the environment and climate change; food safety and quality; and international trade defence measures. In the first field, we give special attention to cooperation regarding renewable energy. In the second field, we consider an increasingly important aspect of food safety and quality, namely the regulation of organic food. In the third field, we discuss the very controversial issue of China’s claim for market economy status in anti-dumping law. We use the Beijing Olympics and China’s One Belt, One Road initiative (OBOR, also known as the Silk Road Initiative, SRL) as chronological bookends to delimit the time period with which we are concerned.
Three conclusions may be drawn from this discussion. First, our examples testify to the continuing importance of China-EU relations and the China-EU Strategic Partnership and to the opportunities for further cooperation which they offer, particularly in a world in which multilateralism and international cooperation is under threat. The EU and China have much to learn from each other, and they need to develop further cooperation in making international standards. Second, China is no longer a weaker partner and not necessarily a rule-taker in its relations with the EU, despite differences in per capita income, development of technical standards and other factors; in fact, it is a leader in fields such as renewable energy. Third, the WTO is increasingly an important third partner in China-EU relations, as a framework for trade, a forum of discussion of standards and best practices and a set of institutions for settling disputes which cannot be settled by bilateral negotiation. Its mandate extends far beyond the regulation of trade in the purely economic sense of cross-border exchange of goods and services and reaches deeply into the domestic policies of the EU and China in many fields today. We conclude with a specific proposal: The EU and China should make serious, sustained efforts to develop regulatory collaboration.
Keywords: China, European Union and China, organic food, renewable energy, market economy status, international trade
JEL Classification: F13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation