APPENDIX 3: CALL FOR EVIDENCE
The Foreign Policy, Defence and Development Sub-Committee
(Sub-Committee C) of the House of Lords Select Committee on the
European Union has decided to undertake an inquiry into "The
European Union and China". The Sub-Committee is chaired by
Relations between the European Union and China, as
well as business, scientific and cultural links have grown significantly
in the last decade. This was reflected in 2003 when China and
the EU announced a 'comprehensive strategic partnership'. The
European Commission's Communication of 2006 'EU-China: closer
partners, growing responsibilities' reviewed the relationship
in the context of China's growing economic strength and global
role. The EU is now China's main trade partner and both sides
have an interest in working closely together on issues ranging
from sustainable development to international security. The maturity
of the relationship is reflected in the 7 formal agreements and
22 sectoral dialogues now in place, complemented by annual summits
and a strategic dialogue at deputy foreign minister level.
However, the relationship faces an increasing diversity
and number of challenges. Many of these are driven by the sheer
dynamism of change in China, which is in turn empowering a new
international activism. There have been increasing calls for China's
rising international presence to be matched by commitments to
a variety of international norms, covering areas as diverse as
human rights observance, good governance in development, environmental
responsibility, and non-proliferation and conflict resolution.
At the same time the EU-China relationship covers a number of
bilateral issues, such as the EU arms embargo imposed after the
1989 Tiananmen crisis, China's market economy status, and the
Chinese government's attitude to the role of rights in the emerging
civil society in China, where to date limited progress has been
Most recently, differences around these questions
triggered the postponement of the December 2008 EU-China summit
as the Chinese government registered its protest at the decision
by several European leaders to meet with the Dalai Lama.
To reflect the growing scope of the relationship, China and the
EU began negotiations on a Partnership and Co-operation Agreement
(PCA) in January 2007, as an ambitious attempt to establish a
framework to address both current challenges and future cooperation.
Scope of the Inquiry
The inquiry will focus on the foreign, security and
development policy aspects of the relationship, but will also
cover key issues for bilateral cooperation such as human rights,
the environment, and science and technology. Although trade and
investment issues are a very important aspect of EU-China relations,
we have deliberately decided not to focus on them. The House of
Lords EU Committee recently published a report on EU trade policy
which covered trade with China to some extent.
The inquiry will start by examining the way that
social, economic, environmental and political change in China
is shaping the relationship. It will review the objectives of
the European Union in pursuing a 'comprehensive strategic partnership'
with China and the institutional framework for EU-China relations,
particularly negotiation on the PCA. We will review the coherence
of the EU's policies, in particular the extent to which the EU
Member States and the European Institutions all share a common
approach to China. We will also assess the perspectives of the
EU's other regional and international partners on the progress
and significance of the EU's relations with China. Overall, the
inquiry will seek to evaluate the development and effectiveness
of the European Union strategy towards China.
In the framework of this inquiry, the Sub-Committee
will consider written evidence. We would therefore welcome submissions
on following questions:
(1) What are the main successes and challenges
of economic, social and political modernisation in China, and
how do these shape the context for China's external strategy?
In particular how do development priorities and foreign and security
(2) How does the EU's policy on promoting the
rule of law and human rights, including women's rights, as well
as political pluralism, freedom of expression and civil society
interact with its broader foreign policy objectives on China?
What is the scope and content of the bilateral human rights dialogue
and how well is it working? How successful has the EU been in
encouraging Chinese participation in international conventions
and institutions in this area, such as the International Convention
on Civil and Political Rights; and the UN Human Rights Council?
(3) How is the EUand its Member Statesperceived
by China: what are the values, interests, and ambitions held by
China in terms of its European strategy? What priority does China
place on its relations with Europe; and how is this level of priority
shaped, not by what Europe does, but by the positions adopted
Nature of the relationship
(4) What is the current nature of EU-China
relations in the broader context of political, trade, economic,
environmental, demographic-migratory and social-cultural terms?
What should be the primary objectives of EU policy towards China;
and notably how do Europe's interests in closer interactions with
China on trade, investment, and technology relate to its foreign
and security strategy?
China's foreign policy principles
(5) China treats its sovereignty as a fundamental
determinant of its foreign and security policy, with the result
that its general approach to political and civil rights, and its
specific posture on questions such as Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan,
Tibet and Xinjiang have significance in international politics.
How does the EU's position on these questions shape its relations
Managing the EU-China relationship
(6) What does the EU have to offer China
as a partner and how can it best influence, and learn from, Chinese
thinking and policy? How successful has the EU's diplomacy towards
China been in attaining its stated objectives, and how could it
be improved? How does the degree of coherence of the EU's policy
impact on the EU's ability to engage and negotiate with China?
How effective are the channels of communication and diplomacy
of the EU in China, including the European Commission delegation
in Beijing, and vice versa?
The institutional framework
(7) What is the current state of the institutional
framework for the conduct of EU-China relations? How well do the
summits, dialogue mechanisms, technical agreements and programmes
meet their aims? What progress is being made in the negotiations
for a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and what is its potential
to provide an effective framework for an increasingly complex
Coherence of the EU's policy
(8) What is the perspective of different
EU Member States in relations with China; and how do these different
perspectives shape the conduct of European foreign and security
policy? To what extent have the Commission, the Council and the
Member States been prepared to conduct a common strategy? How
close is the European Union to designing a strategy that will
ensure that China regards convergence or compliance with EU objectives
as a significant priority?
Foreign and Security Policy
(9) What is the level and kind of cooperation
being conducted at present between the EU and China on questions
of foreign and security policy, including non-proliferation; counter-terrorism;
and crisis management and peacekeeping? To what extent does the
technical and scientific cooperation between Europe and China
assist in China's modernisation in areas such as defence and space;
and is the EU confident that it has adequate mechanisms in place
for oversight and regulation of these interactions?
(10)How successful has the EU been in persuading
China to increase the transparency of its defence objectives and
military expenditure? What is the state of play regarding exports
of arms made in the EU to China? How effective is the newly adopted
Council Common Position to replace the Code of Conduct on arms
exports in limiting arms exports to China? Should the EU continue
to pursue its stated ambition of lifting the arms embargo on China
imposed in 1989? What is the EU's policy on cross-strait relations
between China and Taiwan, and how successful has the EU been in
encouraging peaceful dialogue and confidence-building between
the two sides?
(11)How does the foreign and defence policy of the
United States impact on EU-China relations? To what extent and
with what consequences will the EU-China relationship be determined
by the course of the transatlantic relationship? What is divergent
and convergent about US and European approaches to China? How
do the EU's other partners, notably Japan, India and Russia, view
the development of EU-China relations?
(12)To what extent should Europe regionalise and
internationalise its China strategy? Europe and China increasingly
meet in common neighbourhoods and in global forums, most obviously
the UN. What is the role of regional multilateralismfor
example, the ASEM processand institutions of global governance
in promoting the EU's objectives in the China relationship?
Environment, Climate Change and Energy
(13)What is the scope of the EU's environmental
cooperation with China, and assisting China on policy mitigating
and adapting to climate change? What is the EU doing to persuade
China to commit to binding targets for reductions in its greenhouse
gas emissions under the post-Kyoto UN framework on climate change?
What is the EU's policy on cooperation with China on energy? How
has China's growing demand for energy and raw materials shaped
its foreign policy, and to what extent is there scope for greater
cooperation between the two sides on security of supply?
Europe and China's strategy for Africa
(14)What is the Chinese view of promoting security
and development in Africa; and how far does this approach correspond
to that promoted by the EU? Can the EU, China and Africa cooperate
to improve the effectiveness of regional development and security
through the trialogue mechanism and UN forums?
27 February 2009
123 European Union Presidency Statement on the postponement
of the EU-China Summit. French EU presidency website, www.ue2008.fr Back