APPENDIX 4: NOTES OF MEETINGS IN BEIJING,
GUANGZHOU AND HONG KONG 20-25 JULY 2009
The following are informal notes of the Meetings
held in Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Present at all meetings
were the following Members of Sub-Committee C:
Lord Anderson of Swansea
Lord Selkirk of Douglas
Lord Teverson (Chairman)
Meeting with EU Chamber of Commerce President
Joerg Wuttke and Vice President, Lyn Kok, Beijing 20 July 2009
The EU Chamber of Commerce provides a service to
individual Member States and the EU as a whole. It does not undertake
trade promotion and is self financed. They meet with the EU Trade
Commissioner. The Chamber produced a Position Paper on 2 September
(Available at http://www.europeanchamber.com.cn/view/static/?sid=5622)
China's WTO commitments: China joined the WTO in
2001 and said it would open up but in reality its performance
was less good. The Chamber was undertaking benchmarking to reveal
the discrepancies but they were difficult to prove as there had
been some opening up. The problem was transparency and speed of
action. The sanction was to take China to the WTO which Reuters
had done when China had prevented it from publishing financial
Companies found it very difficult to obtain 100%
ownership though it was easier if they were starting from zero.
The situation for banking was quite good. Insurance had been an
afterthought and the situation was not good as the Chinese showed
a protective market attitude. It had been pointed out to them
that if a disaster occurred, it would fall heavily on China. Lloyds
of London had only recently arrived in China. Chinese measures
had included being hit by a tax on the export of yellow phosphorus
which it could not afford. The success of dispute resolution depended
on the city. The quality of judges tended to be very poor and
the lawyers were better than the judges. If cases were won the
results could not always be enforced and in extreme cases the
problem was taken to the bilateral ambassador.
The EU was a larger market than the US with 20% of
the market share and 40% of the technical market share. The EU
therefore had considerable leverage but competition between Member
States and the lack of a single EU voice hampered the EU in using
it. The EU, with a market of 500 million people, was very interesting
for China which however liked to play one country off against
the other and preferred a divided EU on trade matters. They took
a pragmatic view and looked at and knew the EU's systems, for
example the Parliament. They had a very able Ambassador in Brussels
with a direct link to Wen Jiabao
Some EU Members were more pro China than others (Cyprus,
Romania, Bulgaria). Spain, Poland and German were more outspoken
when China cut corners on the environment and labour laws and
produced cheap goods which the EU could not compete with. At the
outset of China's WTO membership the EU had been reluctant to
take China to task but they had been more active in the last 3
years because the reform measures had slowed. But in the end the
Chinese market was too big and too profitable to withdraw and
the positives outweighed the negatives.
The Chinese system did not really and substantially
support green thinking on climate change and the environment although
they talked their credentials up. Targets existed, about 50% of
all solar power in the world was produced in China (but 98% exported)
and another coal power station was installed every 15 days. Even
if the EU delivered the 'clean coal' technology the Chinese would
not use it, as the subsidised pricing mechanism for electricity
is not in favour for upgrading the power stations. The Chinese
were attached to reciprocity which was difficult for the EU to
achieve if they had no single voice. Industrial development in
northern China has stalled in some industries (chemicals) for
lack of water but there were opportunities for EU companies in
those provinces in other segments (e.g. automobile). The Chinese
had succeeded in lifting their people out of poverty, and they
will continue in this policy. EU companies liked to be in the
big cities where operating was easier.
Beijing had the ultimate political power. If someone
in the provinces strayed they were corrected. The Chinese ensured
that corruption was avoided in their financial services but insider
trading was rampant. Children of Party members received special
treatment. The Chinese economy would overtake the US in 10 years
based on purchasing power parity. The Chinese were very self confident
and the problem was how to integrate them into the world system
since they did not play by the rules if it did not suit them.
Meeting with Vice Minister Liu Jieyi, International
Department of the Communist Party of China, Beijing 21 July 2009
Relations between the European countries, the EU
and China were some of the most important relations in the world.
There are many areas of common interest of potential cooperation
in international affairs to advance the course of development
and peace in different parts of the world. We share the view that
multilateralism is important and that we can cooperate in many
of the hot spots of the world. In trade and culture the two sides
have much to gain from each other; and throughout history the
exchange of ideas between Europe and Asia has been very important
for the development of our civilisations The trend of relations
was toward more common interests between Europe and China and
hence more cooperation on international issues. China viewed its
relations with the European countries from a global and strategic
point of view: this relationship is not only bilateral but also
has significance for global challenges. We are confident that
we can with further efforts advance the relationship in future.
The understanding of the role of China has evolved
in the global financial crisis. If we take a longer perspective,
the relations between Europe and China will be positive and stable.
Our decision-making in foreign policy towards Europe has been
effective but the EU is a complex mechanism, between its Member
States and European institutions and sometimes this leads to difficulties
particularly since the Chinese public does not take a very nuanced
view of the complexities of Europe. We perceive that EU decision-making
is not consistent from time to time, varying on issues that affect
China; but we do not find any institutional difficulties when
dealing with Europe. Trade is an issue of concern, since China
is not treated as a market economy by the European Union. Attitudes
to recent events in Xinjiang are another area of concern, since
this is a basic law and order issue and we do not think it would
be dealt with differently in Europe. But China is not viewed objectively
by some people in Europe, and this leads us to believe that China
is not judged by the same standards as Europeans apply to themselves.
We need to move ahead in trade and business on the basis of a
rule-based economic relationship. We have mechanisms in place
for the resolution of bilateral problems if these can be separated
from political influence.
China has always supported a larger role for Europe
in international affairs. This is not short-term expediency but
strategic view founded on common interests in terms of peace,
stability, security and development. The agenda has expanded to
include climate change, regional security and development, non-proliferation,
and assisting developing countries. Europe is a very important
partner in multilateral cooperation in resolving global problems
and in assisting developing countries where Europe sets a good
example. On the Eurasian continent most of the trouble spots are
geographically between Europe and China, so the world as a whole
would benefit from a cooperative approach by Europe and China
to resolving these problems. If the Eurasian continent with the
joint efforts of Europe and China becomes a more stable, peaceful
and prosperous environment then we will see a better world.
We have been following the constitutional process
in Europe very closely. China has always supported European integration
and wishes to see a European Union that supports more effectively
the common interests of the international community in international
affairs because we see that with globalisation the different parts
of the world are more closely inter-connected and eventually they
will all be on the same level. If the 27 countries of the EU can
achieve greater unity this will contribute to this process.
China understands fully the role of good governance
in development in places like Africa. Our approach differs from
that of Europe in that we see governance and development as being
complementary and mutually supporting activities: each should
expand and encourage the other. China voted against sanctions
on Zimbabwe for internal Zimbabwean reasons, the need to reach
a consensus agreement inside Zimbabwe, and after consultation
with other African countries. The successful settlement of the
disputes in Zimbabwe shows that our judgement was correct.
China has participated increasingly in peacekeeping
operations and UN standby arrangements. But we do not participate
in operations other than UN ones and those only on the basis of
a UN mandate, with the consent of the receiving country, and with
an established timeline for completion. We will continue to support
UN operations on this basis. China fully supports efforts at non-proliferation,
and has been fully involved in the two main issues on the Korean
peninsula and Iran. We welcome the cooperation with the European
3, Russia and the US to find a solution to the Iranian nuclear
question. We regret that matters have developed in the way they
have on the Korean peninsula but the six-party talks are still
the best platform for achieving a resolution. We are co-ordinating
with the other parties to turn the situation around. China is
a victim of terrorist activities and supports counter-terrorist
activities; but we should have common principles. There should
be single standard so that a terrorist is a terrorist throughout
the international community. There should be international cooperation
on terrorism. But resorting to wars against terrorism is not a
Round Table hosted by Vice President Yuan Jian,
China Institute for International Studies; Professor Feng
Zhongping, Chinese Institute for Contemporary International Relations;
Professor Zhou Hong, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences;
Xin Hua, Chinese Institute for Contemporary International Relations,
Beijing 21 July 2009
Professor Feng: Chinese analysts over-estimated
the nature of European integration: the single currency and eastward
expansion led them to believe that a new superpower was emerging.
But Europe is a very important soft power as we have seen at the
G20 summit: Europe co-ordinates on the agenda of many countries.
Before Maastricht China was focused on the capitals of the major
states; but after that the pendulum swung the other way and Beijing
began to focus on Europeanisation, including in CFSP. However,
perception has shifted in this decade: attention has shifted back
to the individual European countries, notably on the agenda of
hard security or strategic issues. 2008 was a good example of
this: the French Presidency saw a lot of successful diplomacy
both as Europe and as European states; but when smaller countries
have the Presidency the capacity of European diplomacy falls away.
So if you ask Europe to do what the US does, you will be disappointed;
so you have to deal with Europe as it is.
The Lisbon Treaty will not have a major impact on
foreign policy. There will be a high-level profile President,
but the Member States will not shift significant external decision-making
to the European level. Having a permanent Foreign Policy head
will allow for greater consensus but there will be no great breakthrough.
Views of this vary in China: some think that EU's role in global
governance has been very significant; and they think that an independent
Europe is very important. But if you look at changes in US policy
now with the arrival of Obama and Clinton, we see that the agenda
and outlook have moved closer again. So China's problem may be
that relations move closer only when the Transatlantic relationship
is difficult. It is also the case that we need to move away from
having top-heavy, government-to-government relations; the future
of Europe-China relations should be shaped more by media, culture,
education and the role of civil society. Europe needs more experts
on contemporary China, not on history and culture but what is
happening in China today; and we should cooperate on collaborative
projects to develop new generations of experts on China and Europe.
It is true that Europe policy towards China about
the need for engagement was made a long time ago so perhaps it
is natural that some people say it should be changed. In China
the term engagement is not understood where we would use the term
the term cooperation.
Professor Zhou: Our Institute has done research
on Chinese attitudes to Europe: surveys show that a majority of
people think that Europe is a Chinese friend. But in Europe we
find that public opinion is going the other way: that more and
more Europeans think that China poses some kind of threat to Europe.
Chinese analysts think that this is due to some distortion in
the perception of China. This also relates to the role of the
US. Chinese analysts thought that Europe would play an independent
role but we find that Europe has some reluctance to separate itself
from the US, including in its attitude to China. It is important
not to over-state this: Europe is not in a US 'camp' but at the
same time Europe shifts between having an independent policy towards
the developing world, such as China and India, and keeping a close
relationship with the US. Europe does not participate in balance
of power politics, but it is concerned with alignments and influence.
China for its part attempts to influence Europe at different levelsboth
European institutions and important Member States, such as France,
Germany and the UK.
China has made tremendous efforts to manage its modernisation
and this is not fully recognised outside. Europeans think that
they have the only successful modernisation but from the Chinese
perspective their experience is also very relevant and the successes
of China's modernisation strategy have been 'deliberately twisted
again and again in Europe'. On this basis China and Europe should
cooperate as equal partners, and not be in a situation where one
side thinks it has more to teach the other. This is true in the
environmental area where the West contributed far more to pollution
than the East but now tries to make the East carry the responsibility
for future climate change. So we should achieve some synthesis
between developed and developing world of best practices and mutual
The Godement-Fox report misunderstands the nature
of the Europe-China relationship because it is too closely focused
on political relations. The China-Europe relationship is not about
independence but interdependencewe need to cooperate because
under globalisation the future of the two are tied together in
a whole number of ways. So we should emphasise the potential for
Mr Xin: The Godement-Fox report is not an accurate
account of the Europe-China relationship. First, the report does
not sufficiently stress both the economic and political complementarity
between the two sides: the relationship is far more beneficial
than this report states. Second, the report argues that China
pays more attention to the US than to Europe; this is not correct.
Europe should favour a good relationship between China and the
US, just as China should favour good relations between Europe
and the US. Neither China nor Europe has anything to gain from
trying to use US as an instrument in their relationship. Finally,
the report says that Europe should learn from the US in the way
that it treats China, but Europe cannot have the same relationship
with China as the US does, so this argument makes little sense.
The Chinese impression is that this report has not been well received
in Brussels. Chinese analysts reject the idea that China favours
and exploits European division. On the contrary China supports
the integration of Europe because this will lead to a more balanced
world order and because it will mean a more productive relationship
between China and Europe
Meeting with Michael Pulch, Chargé d'Affaires
of the EC Delegation, Simon Sharpe, Human Rights Policy Officer,
EC Delegation, and Mattias Lentz, Chargé d'Affaires of
the Swedish Presidency, Beijing 21 July 2009
Mr Pulch: The EU Delegation in Beijing is one
of the largest and is increasing in size, which reflects the importance
of China. It is now bigger than the EU Delegation in Japan with
120 people including local staff. It also includes people from
the agencies, e.g. the European Patents Office. It is smaller
that some European Embassies, but has of course no visa section.
If the Lisbon Treaty goes through, the Delegation will be the
Embassy of the EU as well as the Commission and will probably
expand further. More reporting will be expected in particular
on political matters than can probably be delivered with the current
staff resources. Heads of Mission meet once a month; deputies
hold a weekly meeting. There are also specialised working groups
e.g. on trade and economic matters. The US Embassy is huge with
some 1,100 people, illustrating how highly the Americans rate
China. There has been a power shift in Eastern Asia from Japan
to China in the past year.
Trade is the pillar of the Delegation's work but
it also undertakes political work as part of the troika. The trade
imbalance is a problem. There has also been a change in the balance
of power between the US and China on finance and currency matters.
The Chinese were beginning to say, should we still buy your bonds?
There were some areas where China has not fulfilled its WTO obligations
but there have been successes in the financial sector which made
it possible for EU companies to operate, but this was too slow.
Companies, such as those in the motor sector (VW), still find
it profitable but they are free to invest freely in China. The
construction market is the biggest in the world but housing standards
are poor on energy efficiency. The EU has offered a dialogue but
some change is needed in the Chinese market in order to sell EU
technology in this field. European companies had experienced some
problems with joint ventures, some of which had imploded (e.g.
The Delegation would like to work more on standard
setting. China wants more technology transfer in the field of
environment. The EU has invested a great deal in what will be
the market for the future and this is an area where the EU could
continue to sell. It should not give away the environmental platform.
The EU should say that it understands the need for the transfer,
but that top technology is not needed; China could use what it
already has and address overcapacity in energy intensive sectors.
There are dangers in transferring technology because of the under
usage of licensing in the Chinese system which deterred companies
from getting involved. Green technology is an area with great
potential for China both to deal with its own problems and also
the problem of trade deficits. China's per capita energy use was
much lower than in the West. If the Copenhagen conference fails
China would avoid being landed with the blame. They have no interest
in being a deal breaker. Their biggest concern is whether they
would be able to continue to export to Europe and the US.
Human rights was an area where more resources were
needed, although the Delegation has one officer working full time.
The picture did not look good in the short term but it was hoped
that it would improve in 3 years. On the one hand, China had executed
an individual in whom the Commission had taken an interest while
the dialogue was going on. On the other hand, the Commission had
opened a law school.
Mr Sharpe: It was not possible to have an equal
exchange on human rights but European countries wanted the message
put across and this happened in a twice yearly meeting. An independent
review was underway, with the involvement of NGOs, on how the
dialogue was conducted, but there were problems also for NGOs.
Legal reform was the most productive area for development. The
Chinese were very sensitive to publicity, including in European
and national parliamentary debates. It was impossible to assess
whether the EU's efforts were effective or not. If a prisoner's
sentence was reduced, one could not say why. The best human rights
lawyers had been active since the 1970s and said that they had
never won a case. However, the EU was told that it was helpful
to raise the subject.
Mr Lentz: climate change and the economic downturn
will be priorities for the Swedish presidency, together with the
EU-China summit later in 2009. The location of these summits alternates
between China and Europe. The Swedish Embassy is growing with
all institutions (not just the MFA) expanding their representation.
The rotating presidency was difficult for China. Their interests
were centred on their own policy prioritiesTibet, Xinjiang.
It would be good for the Chinese to have an EU they knew how to
talk to. On the Copenhagen talks, the EU should get the US on
There had been mixed results in the field of human
rights; it was a difficult process, and results could not be measured.
However, what was the alternative, especially as European publics
and parliaments exerted pressure for action? Companies could play
their part with corporate social responsibility.
Points raised in discussion:
Human rights: the EC Delegation's development section
was also involved and also raised gender issues.
Climate change: 70 to 80% of all water deposits in
China are seriously in danger. In 2007 one of China's lakes north
of Beijing collapsed. Several hundreds of thousands of people
had no drinking water. In 2007 China accounted for 70% of the
world's increase in air pollution. China would represent the G77
in the Copenhagen talks. It was important that China should realise
that success at the conference was in its own interests.
Round Table chaired by Ambassador Chen Jian, Dean
of the International Relations Faculty, Renmin University, Professor Jin
Canrong, Renmin University, Mr Chen Xiaohe, Renmin University
and Mr Li Qingsi, Renmin University, Beijing 21 July 2009
Ambassador Chen: China's policy is called an independent
policy of peace. This means that China will not seek alliances
with major powers and that China sees peace and development as
being the main tendencies in international life as Deng Xiaoping
stated in 1979. The effect of two processesglobalisation
and multipolarisationproved the correctness of this judgement.
China can rise peacefully without having to challenge anyone within
the present international system; in these circumstances both
Chinese and other peoples can benefit from China's rise. Opening
and reform is the right policy and China's rise is a positive
force for international peace and security. Under modernisation
China will have dual characteristics: in aggregate China is a
major power, but in per capita terms China will remain a developing
country. So in terms of philosophy China shares with the developing
countries a concern for national sovereignty due to the bitter
experiences in the past. China will still make a positive contribution
to international peace and security whilst defending the principle
of non-interference. China will always favour persuasion rather
than coercion; but this will complement the actions of the US
in a kind of pull and push effect. So China will play an increased
role in international security and stability; but it will be a
limited role: limited by its history and its philosophy. Historically
China has never employed force as a means of projecting its power;
globalisation enforces this tendency because it provides means
and motivations for delivering security by non-military means.
Professor Jin: Since the end of the Cold war
most of China's security concerns come from the Southeast, especially
the re-emergence of the Taiwan issue. The security used to come
from the Northern border in the Cold warfrom the Arctic
regions; but now many people are concerned about the rise of religious
Ambassador Chen: This points to the supreme concern
of the Chinese government with national unity, with the nationalities
question and keeping China under one system of government. The
main threat may be from across the Taiwan strait where a declaration
of independence would force China to take military action even
if the US were to intervene. So the main aim of China's military
build-up is to deter foreign intervention in case of an attempted
separation by Taiwan. Beyond internal unity, China's main interest
is in regional stability and peace, and this is the basis of common
interest between China and the European countries.
Professor Jin: In the Cold war China mainly
defined its security in traditional terms. Under globalisation
China is now concerned with non-traditional threats, such as climate
change, organised crime, and so on. This is a commonality with
Europe, but we also have commonalities with Europeans on traditional
security, such as the situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The same is true of the nuclear hot-spots in DPRK and Iran. In
Afghanistan China has made the largest single investment in a
copper mine under NATO protection.
Ambassador Chen: Security activities should be complementary:
not all states should do the same thing. So China does not have
military forces overseas but carries out activities which support
stability and reconciliation in different ways. China favours
negotiation in all cases: because China has maintained relations
with a country does not mean that it supports its policies, we
saw this in the situation in Myanmar in 2007. China strongly supports
counter-terrorism which is a universal threat; but unfortunately
some people in the West have double standards on terrorism. Terrorist
actions in China are not described as such and this threatens
the international consensus on terrorism. There are also some
double standards on non-proliferation. North Korea's pursuit of
nuclear weapons has been treated entirely different from India's;
many states can reach the conclusion that if they don't have nuclear
weapons they could be the next North Korea but that if they do
have nuclear weapons they could be the next India. China is expanding
its presence in many parts of Asia and Africa, as an economic
actor and as part of UN peace-keeping forces. It is likely that
China will send combat forces on peace missions in the future
though it will take time to make this step.
China supports UN reform but only in ways that strengthen
its role and effectiveness. Expanding the category of permanent
members would not achieve this, so China's solution is to create
a new category between permanent and non-permanent members of
Security Council. This would based on election and consensus.
There are also possibilities for new institutions such as the
G20 which might emerge as an economic security council. China's
army might in future play a more significant role in international
operations but it is a conservative and inward-looking institution
at present. China will continue to have the dual characteristics
of aggregate major power but a per capita developing country.
The developments on the Korean peninsula are very damaging for
everybody in Northeast Asia including China. We are applying a
mixture of sanctions and dialogue but I am not optimistic in the
outcome: what North Korea stands to gain from nuclearising is
considerable, if we look at the case of India. It is likely that
Iran will follow the example of North Korea and this has been
motivated in large part by the position of the United States.
China has always supported European integration for
strategic reasonsas a potential balance between the US
and Russia. The relationship with Russia is strong in political
terms but people-to-people relations are at a low-level. China
understands why others raise the question of its military intentions
and transparency. But China's the military modernisation has only
one goalto sustain national unity. As for transparency,
militaries that resist transparency nearly always do so to disguise
their weakness, and those who favour transparency do so to reveal
their capacity. It is quite possible that China's military will
favour transparency but only when it is strong enough. But the
West is feeding China's insecurity by promoting Sinophobia which
leads some young people to believe that China must be strong to
Meeting hosted by Chris Wood, Deputy Head of Mission,
British Embassy with Ambassador Wu Jianmin, former Chinese Ambassador
to France and senior adviser to the MFA, Professor Liu Jianfei,
Central Party School and Ms Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, North
East Asia Project Director and China Adviser, International Crisis
Group, Beijing 21 July
Ambassador Wu: Climate change is the most important
issue and divides developing and developed countries. The former
were challenging the latter who produce 85% of the world's greenhouse
gases. China needed 20-25 million jobs daily and therefore needed
development, and faced problems which no politician could afford.
Other developing countries were in the same situation. In China
clean water was needed by 320 million farmers who had no access
to it. The glaciers were melting and have shrunk in the Himalayas
causing serious consequences for the great rivers of India and
China. Building consumed 35% of Chinese energy. It was investing
heavily in renewable energy using the private sector.
Developed countries must find a formula to help developing
countries. Advanced technology was needed but developing countries
could not afford it. Some people believed that there was a western
plot aimed at stopping China's development. The development model
of the last 30 years could not last and must change. By 2050 China
wanted to, and would, catch up with industrialised countries.
China was growing ever more pluralistic. The Chinese people wanted
democracy, a voice in economic and cultural matters, but they
wanted Chinese civilisation to live in harmony. With 56 ethnic
groups, China was a very diverse country with several components.
It was necessary to modernise gradually to meet peoples' expectations
and overcome problems which were not compatible with harmony in
China was a founding member of the UN and took its
responsibility for peace seriously. It was also attached to the
principle of non-interference. The 6 party talks on North Korea
were not dead. North Korea had done many things which the West
and the Chinese did not like. Was it a regime in transition? Japan
worried about North Korea and China, but the threat was limited
because no major power was behind North Korea or its arsenal;
the major powers were united on the subject. The North Koreans
were hungry; we should wait and talk. No religion was involved
which made things less complicated. North Korea was next door
to China and its aid was basically humanitarian. If there was
no aid, there would be 2 million refugees. China allowed refugees
to go through China to Thailand and on to South Korea. It was
necessary to take the overall situation into account as it was
not desirable for North Korea to sink. Iran felt threatened because
of the "axis of evil" label (cf Iraq). Incentives should
be developed for Iran.
The EU had been a remarkable achievement which had
made war impossible between France and Germany, though Europe
was in transition. China would like to do the same in Asia. China
had reformed because of the need to adapt to globalisation, but
the change was difficult. The Chinese liked reform; the Europeans
were afraid of it. The Europeans had developed a complex because
the centre of gravity had moved from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
The US had a place in the Pacific which Europe did not. For 3
to 4 centuries Europe had been the centre of the world and the
Europeans did not feel good about the change. Few countries could
compete with the UK in global vision (and they had the best diplomats).
The common ground between China and Europe was growing and this
was more important than the differences. The Chinese liked European
culture. The UK was the second destination for travel after the
US. The EU worked together economically, but politically as divided.
China would deal with the EU politically if it were united.
China had acceded to the WTO and its rules. It should
be treated on an equal footing. Market economy status had been
granted to Russia, but not China. The Chinese economy was a much
more market economy that Russia's. As for the arms embargo, why
was the EU sticking to an obsolete policy? This was being unnecessarily
antagonistic. The young people in China were not happy about it,
and they were important.
Mr Liu: China's aim is peace in the world and
a successful world economy. It was sometimes critical of EU policy.
The EU and China understood each other although they had different
histories and interests. Both recognised that, with globalisation,
they faced common threats: climate change, WMD, and they had to
cooperate to deal with it. In China, climate change was taught
in party schools. President Obama was doing very well in cooperating
with China, although there were conflicts between the US and China.
Ambassador Wu: China should never be pushed to give
up its principles. It had a tradition of pragmatism which had
led millions out of poverty. It was a member of the P5 group and
also other groups and now had an identity crisis. The EU should
work with China. In Africa there was a common interest in stability,
in keeping its people safe; China was also interested in its reputation.
China had an interest in non-proliferation but was less concerned
in ensuring stable and accountable governments. China saw its
interest in ensuring better relations between the DRC and Rwanda
and was conducting shuttle diplomacy. Chinese leaders were visiting
India and Pakistan and took an active role in showing Pakistan
that it was in its interest to defuse tensions with India. It
was cooperating in Afghanistan/Pakistan where it was coming to
terms with US intentions to ensure its own safety from terrorism.
Investment in military infrastructure was in the in the interests
of the public good. China tried to convince African governments
of the necessity of engaging in peace keeping.
China's number one concern was the growth and development
of China. In its foreign policy it looked at issues on a case
by case basis. The UN would like more troops from China, especially
resource intensive troops and ones who spoke English. Many peacekeeping
operations could not work if it were not for China's contribution,
for example with medical support. China had had offered 1,000
combat troops for the Lebanon but the UN had refused because of
the French offer. The Chinese contributed police in Haiti and
Ms Kleine-Ahlbrandt: The West overwhelmingly sends
troops to peace keeping operations when it is in their own interest.
The South Koreans had given the North $40 billion. None of the
refugees from North Korea had been given status under the refugee
Convention. China would treat the EU differently if the Lisbon
Treaty were implemented and the Presidency ceased to rotate. It
would be good for China to have one place to go to.
Meeting with Sean Winnett, Human Rights Policy
Officer, British Embassy, and Simon Sharpe, Human Rights Policy
Officer, EC Delegation, Beijing 22 July 2009
Mr Winnett: China was doing well on social and
economic rights, for example in lifting people out of poverty
and in access to housing and water. Progress was much slower on
civil and political rights. It had signed but failed to ratify
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
whereas it had both signed and ratified the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Until it ratifies
ICCPR, China is not open to formal UN examination of its record
on the provisions of the Convention (freedom of expression etc).
There were some significant obstacles to ratification. For example,
68 crimes were subject to the death penalty.
The UK aimed to raise human rights as part of high-level
ministerial contact with Chinese officials including at Prime
Ministerial level. The UK-China human rights dialogue takes place
twice a year, alternately in Beijing or London. In the last 2
years only one dialogue had taken place The EU consulted with
Member States to agree approaches to their dialogue, which took
place every six months.
Human rights dialogues with China had developed over
the past decade partly through a desire to move from simply criticising
China's human rights record in the UN towards more meaningful
engagement. The UK used its bilateral Human Rights Dialogue to
raise individual cases of concern and China also uses the opportunity
to raise cases, which the UK welcomes.
Project work was a major part of the UK's strategy
for engagement on human rights. There were about 12 projects in
place or planned between 2008 and 2011 on criminal justice reform,
the death penalty, freedom of expression, civil society. For example,
a survey had been undertaken on attitudes to the death penalty.
The UK was able to work with Chinese partners on these projects.
There was some evidence that project work brought about more concrete
progress than high-level dialogues.
Deciding whether and how to raise cases of concern
was a difficult judgement. The UK and other EU member states made
efforts to build contacts at working level with legal professionals
to better understand the situation.
Mr Sharpe: The EU holds high-level dialogues
and undertakes projects. China was becoming more confident about
the dialogue, for example in putting forward its line on economic,
social and cultural rights. It also promotes this to those who
sympathised with the line. There is now a longer list of what
both sides wished to discuss, but time was limited. The Chinese
were tending to use the dialogue to avoid human rights being raised
in top level discussions with President Hu and for that reason
were willing to hold the talks twice a year. However, several
EU leaders had raised cases at the highest level (e.g. the British
and Swedish). The EU-China dialogue with China on human rights
runs parallel with the US-China dialogue; but China prefers to
'corral' these dialogues. The project work was the best thing
the EU did and had more effect than anything else. The EU held
seminars on the death penalty and had seen a change of attitude
over the years. Whereas 5 years previously all those at on a seminar
had said that the death penalty was a good thing, now they were
saying that the long-term aim was to abolish it. There was now
a pilot project to look at Chinese law and work with the Peoples'
Prosecutors on implementation. The NGO Great Britain-China Centre
did a very good job and had many contacts in China. It received
a Government grant but needed more.
The human rights dialogue was very difficult, but
it was important to deliver the messages even if there was no
apparent result. Talks took place in Beijing or in the capital
of the presidency. The presidency, future presidency, Commission
and Council Secretariat were involved which represented a coordination
challenge. The Delegation were consulting all on how to improve
this. Not all Member States conducted a separate dialogue, only
4 or 5. Member States have their own budget and the EU also has
a budget. The projects conducted span public welfare and explicit
rights projectsthere is no clear separation of rights from
other activities. The European Law School gives 15 million euros.
The UK's dialogue was well established.
It was difficult to determine the extent of any human
rights problem in China. China is shifting its attitude towards
the law: capital punishment was previously in the category of
Chinese tradition; but it is now viewed as an undesirable but
nevertheless necessary aspect of legal control. The Delegation
had to rely on NGOs for the numbers of those executed. The numbers
were unknown. Amnesty International had verified 1,000 to 2,000
cases which had been publicly stated. In the past the number had
been estimated at 5,000. More executions were carried out in China
than in the rest of the world put together. The Delegation met
with anyone who had had experience of prisoners, for example judges
who defended them or government officials at the central, provincial
and local levels.
Torture was not an instrument of policy. It happened
because of incompetence and was linked to overall development
and tended to be in the pre-trial phase when the authorities were
looking for a confession. Torture in prison was more systematic
for Falun Gong. The issue was raised regularly by the EU. There
were 68 crimes in the criminal code which brought the death penalty,
including smuggling cigarettes and falsifying tax returns, but
in the main it was used for violent crimes (murder, rape.)
Round Table on Human Rights in China, with Ms
Lei Vuori, EC Delegation lead on the EU-China Law School, Mr Wyndham
James, Save the Children (STC), Mr Tom Mountford, English
barrister, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) rights
in Beijing and Mr Tim Wilkinson, Project Manager, EU governance
programme, Beijing 22 July
Mr James: Save the Children's work focuses on
the rights of children and its "Child Rights" programme
was targeted at education (access, quality, teacher training,
disabled children, demonstrating what could be done,) and health
and sanitation (HIV/AIDS). The organisation's regional programme
aimed at helping children understand their rights (trafficking
etc). It worked with the relevant Ministry on orphans and foster
care. In the field of disability it worked with Chinese NGOs,
most of which were connected to the party organisation. STC trained
adults to work with children to help them with the transfer from
incarceration back into the community/bail. Chinese criminal law
did not discriminate between adults and youth. For street children
STC worked to give them social protection and life skills training
in activity centres. Local authority support was needed for this
work. STC preferred to focus on the poorer western provinces where
700 million people lived. The work was difficult and it was often
necessary to work in local languages, and not just Chinese. The
organisation also aimed to influence key academics and had organised
study tours to the UK and within China.
Ms Vuori: The School had a legal personality of its
own. It was expected to become financially self-sustainable in
2009 0r 2010. It was running 2 major good governance projects
and worked with UNDP. The civil society programmes have had a
bigger effect than had previously been thought. A previous programme
on village elections in collaboration with the Chinese authorities
(Ministry of Civic Affairs) had worked well. In Xinjiang the School
had run a minority education programme for children and there
had been interest in other provinces to replicate the experience.
The School trained judges on international law, including human
rights and the Ministry of Justice wanted this to continue. It
was hoped that a new generation of layers would make a difference.
What the School did was a drop in the ocean but it had a potentially
very big effect on the new generation of lawyers. By teaching
comparative law the School was creating a questioning mind and
the perception was changing from "rule by law" to the
"rule of law". Lawyers were beginning to realise that
prisoners too had rights.
Mr Wilkinson: The key themes of the EU's work
were to help drafting laws, access to justice and work on civil
society. They were also involved in migrant workers' rights. The
work programme was implemented by 3 organisations with nearly
80 activities. The EU's programmes had an "additionality"
impact in China and allowed the Chinese to do things they would
not otherwise have done. Developments on human rights were coming
from within China, with the increase in incomes. The middle classes
were saying they wanted more free speech.
Mr Mountford: The LGTB was funded by the Bar
as part of a programme to promote law abroad. The LGTB spent £600,000
supporting 81 organisations in China. The gay population of China
was estimated at 26-40 million people who were geographically
disparate, an "invisible population". No gays were shown
on television so it was difficult for them to become visible.
Gay activity had been de-criminalised in 1997 and in 2001 removed
from the list of mental disorders. Since then there had not been
much official activity, but there was no official protection for
gay people: there was no male rape law, local police made arrests,
licences were not given for gay bars etc. The age of consent in
China was fourteen.
Meeting with Experts on China-Africa Issues: Professor Zeng
Qiang, Researcher Professor, Institute of Asian and African Studies,
China Institute for Contemporary International Relations (CICIR),
Dr Phil Karp, Head of the World Bank Institute, Mr Mark
George, Policy AnalystChina and International Development,
DfID and Mr Wu Zhong, Managing Director, International Poverty
Reduction Centre in China, Beijing 22 July 2009
Professor Zeng: China's approach to Africa has
advanced the position of women through its emphasis on education
Dr Karp: The World Bank (WB) specialises in
gender and Africa. WB and DFID's participatory approach advances
women's role in development. The dichotomy between West and China
in development has been over-emphasised. Beijing policy 'mirrors'
that of the Washington Consensus: it is market oriented and China
advocates 'neo-liberal' policies of opening on the basis that
markets workcreate jobs and increase fiscal revenues.
Professor Zeng: There is no such thing as a
China development 'model' but there are lessons from China's experience:
it is important to set strategic objectives; it is important to
have a central source of authority; and important to be pragmatic.
The other idea that is pursued now is harmonious societysocial
dislocation is bad for development so there must be distributive
policies to ensure stability.
Mr George: The Chinese and Western approaches
are mutual: the West 'delivers' development; China 'shares' development.
China tends to mix aid and economic partnership: these are not
de-linked as in European strategies. The European and Chinese
approaches should be complementary: with the Chinese emphasis
on construction and the European emphasis on governance. A lot
depends on African governments: what they want shapes development
more than the actions of Europeans or Chinese. Europe should welcome
other development actors; but it should be African priorities
that determine the context.
Mr Wu: China knows that governance is essential,
and makes this evident through its lending and training programmes.
Even so this does not mean that China is trying to export a model.
Mr George: China does need to be more transparent
about its activities.
Dr Karp: China is competing to bring in investments:
it is very competitive in hard and soft infrastructure projects.
African governments look upon this favourably, as it is obviously
in their interests to have external investors competing for projects.
Professor Zeng: Projects will employ either
African or Chinese labour depending on what is most effective:
but this is complementary. There are perhaps 600-800,000 Chinese
in Africa on these projects now.
Mr George: One key difference between European
and Chinese actors is their risk perception: Chinese corporations
have lower risk thresholds from European equivalents.
Dr Karp: Africans want to deal with China on
their own terms; and others favour closer regional cooperation.
China is overwhelmingly bilateral in its approach, but Europe
is multilateral and some Africans favour this.
Mr George: African governments like doing business
with China, but NGOs/ civil society groups are more sceptical
due to the lack of accountability and transparency. We need to
emphasise the importance of 'projects on the ground'. China is
good at scaling-up if projects work. China's position is 'pro-active,
non-interference': actions short of interference in sovereign
Meeting on EU-China Climate Change Cooperation
with Mr Jiang Kejun, National Development and Reform Commission
Energy Research Institute (NDRC ERI), Mr Yang, World Wildlife
Fund (WWF), Mr Yu, State Electricity Regulatory Commission
(SERC), Beijing 22 July 2009
Mr Jiang: China should move to Carbon Capture
and Storage (CCS) by 2020 through some projects; but there is
strong resistance from special interests in the industrial hierarchy
who fear that this will choke growth. China should set high targets
for carbon reductionit should be ambitiousbut this
is a chain process, targets alone are not the strategy. There
are many possibilities for scientific development, and international
collaboration is very important.
Mr Yang: Who is the champion of the environment
in China? Who will champion CCS? China consumes 70% coal in its
energy supply; and must reduce this to 40-45%; but it is not possible
to persuade NRDC to move on this because its primary responsibility
is to deliver growth. It will fund some projects but it is not
committed to clean growth.
Mr Yu: There are two projects currently using
limited carbon power production. These have no economic advantage
over conventional plants; but they operate at low productivity
and neither is based on CCS. Implementing carbon capture will
put up production prices by 80% and will be politically sensitive.
China continues to install new capacity and is trying to be energy
aware and efficient. This may be a better way of dealing with
sustainable development than using CCS which is maybe unrealistic.
China cannot introduce subsidies for clean energy; this will distort
Mr Yang: CCS is essential to reduce carbon emissions;
but it is not the best option at present. China is achieving great
reductions in energy intensitythe target is to improve
energy efficiency by 20%. Construction remains a big problem;
buildings less than 10 years old are being demolished, in way
that makes no environmental sense but does provide economic gains.
The EU and China should collaborate on projects like low carbon
zones, though central and local governments will have different
Mr Yu: China is more like the US in terms of
its energy structure; but the EU model can help China because
it delivers development at lower energy levels.
Mr Yang: Climate change is already having an
impact on China in the relationship between energy consumption
and climate change and the impact of this on water and food.
Meeting with Vice Minister Zhang Zhijun, Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, 22 July 2009
We recognise that there are major issues to do with
European integration and constitutionalism; but even more than
this we think the challenges of globalisation are more pressing
for Europe. Reform in European markets has been slow in the last
decade and national governments and political parties recognise
that the European social model needs reform. There has been the
rise of some uncertainty and insecurity about where Europe is
headed and we see that the government parties are being punished
by the people. So we think that Europe is still in the process
of reform and that it will take several decades for Europe to
adapt to the challenges of globalisation.
Europe is one of the major power-centres of the world,
and it will get stronger. With the achievement of the Union of
27 countries with half a billion people and the largest economy
in the world, Europe's integration is in the interest of world
stability and development. That a Europe that is integrated and
powerful is in China's interests was stated by Deng Xiaoping almost
30 years ago. Europe is open to us in terms of trade and technology
relations and we should strengthen our relations with Europe.
China neither plays national governments of Europe against each
other or against the European Union: this is not our strategy,
we want to see a more united Europe and a more constructive role
played by Europe, both the EU and the national governments.
Strategically speaking China and Europe do not have
any major conflict of interest. A strong Europe and a strong China
are in our mutual interests and in the interest of the world:
it will contribute to a more balanced distribution of interests
and power in the world. China's idea of multipolarity is not about
balancing poles against one another but a more equitable order
among different poles; we do not want to see poles locked in hostility
with one another. The European and Chinese economies are highly
complementary to each otheryou are the most developed economic
area in the world and we are the largest developing country in
the world which is rapidly expanding through the process of industrialisation
and modernisation. So we see a driving force to develop closer
cooperation between us. We have deep cultural links and there
is no shortage of popular support for developing Europe-China
relations on both sides. We also see a rise of global challengesclimate
change, food security, energy security, pandemic diseaseswhich
cannot be addressed by any single power but need to be co-ordinated
by all countries, especially the major powers of the world.
There are of course differences between China and
Europe because of different histories, cultures, levels of economic
and social development, and political
systems. This is natural, but we should have the
conviction of not allowing these differences to disturb the development
of this very mutually beneficial relationship. So we should have
full confidence in the broad prospects of the Europe-China relationship
and we should not misread, misjudge or mis-decide on this important
conclusion. So I do not agree with the conclusions of the Godement-Fox
paper. We should seek to expand the areas of cooperation in the
relationship since this is of benefit to more people, and then
they will be convinced of its value. We should handle differences
in an appropriate way. We can put these in different categories.
There are differences that will remainyou cannot change
your history, culture, or political system. There are issues that
touch on the core national interests of Chinanational unity,
sovereignty, territorial integrity such as questions and issues
related to Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiangif these are harmed
by speeches and acts on the European side then China has to respond.
So these issues have to be approached with great caution. The
third area is in economic relations; where two so different economic
entities come into interaction there are inevitably fractions
but these can be handled through mutual consultation and agreement,
rather than taking protectionist measures and sanctions.
Of course, all things are changing, but China's political
culture is deeply rooted in its history, and the people's mentality
is quite different. So Western ideas of liberalism which equate
with personal initiative are viewed in China as 'do whatever you
wish'; whereas Chinese value collectivism which in the West is
similar to nationalism or statism. One major difference is about
the defence of the principle of non-interference because China
was subjected to foreign invasion, which we suffered for more
than 100 years. So we do not want our internal affairs to be interfered
with, and we do not want to interfere in the affairs of others,
even though you and some other countries try and push us in this
direction, with regard to Sudan, or Myanmar, or DPRK. But we do
not think we should impose our views on others. China has more
awareness of the position of smaller, weaker countries: large
powers should respect these countries' feelings. So these powers
can get involved in certain cases but this must only be under
the rules of the UN. With UN mandate we can do certain things,
but we need to considerwho is going to control the major
powers if they misbehave? So we need to further strengthen the
authority of the UN; it will need further reform but only to strengthen
its authority. The big powers should set an example that makes
the smaller countries feel safer.
There are three main areas to consider in EU-China
relations. First, confidence in its worthdon't lose sight
of the value of the relationship in the long-term. We have achieved
a lot and we should not abandon this course. Second, expand co-operation
and try and bring about durable results. Third, handle the differences
with caution and in an appropriate way. In economic terms we should
not resort to protectionism in response to the ongoing economic
and financial crisis; and UK as a trading nation should play a
strong role in this way. We should get rid of the two old issues:
the arms embargo and the market economy status
Meeting with Chinese and British journalists;
Ms Jane McCartney, The Times, Mr Wang Chong, Director, China
Weekly and Mr Chen Lingshan, Director, International Department
of Beijing News, Beijing 22 July 2009
Ms McCartney: there has been a change for the better
for journalists in moving around China. In the 1980s travel restrictions
meant that one had to apply 10 days in advance to travel. In the
1990s this eased a little. In 2005 a great deal of information
was available, with internet discussion and more newspapers. Since
the Olympics travel was permitted everywhere except Tibet. The
"great firewall" of Chine was overdone. A huge range
of topics were discussed, though twitter and facebook had been
closed. Xinjiang was not discussed much. Most people supported
the government on Taiwan as part of China. If a foreign journalist
reported something which had been clamped down on, they faced
problems afterwards. The milk scandal had been uncovered by journalists
and had been on line. There was no censorship and articles could
be written about anything if they were accurate. There was however
a limit to how the information was obtained. Journalists did not
buy information or they would get expelled, though Japanese reporters
would pay. It was not possible to hire journalists in China. It
was not true that western journalists put the emphasis on minority
issues; they looked at the underlying issues. One of the most
interesting stories in 2008 had been the Tibet-China relationship
and the rise of nationalism. Problems had been created because
the press had not been allowed in. China felt aggrieved that shareholders
had turned the Chinese offer down in the Rio Tinto case, and portrayed
it as a rejection just because the offer came from China.
Mr Lim: The usual pattern of the 7 o'clock news
was an account of what the Politburo had done, followed by a utopian
picture of China and an account of how bad things were abroad.
Xinhua did not block news which was sent direct to clients (by
feeder). Journalists could publish stories if they were true.
Reuters had over 30 journalists in Shanghai.
Mr Chen: Western journalists did tend to emphasise
the minorities question. Different EU Member States had different
opinions. It would be good if the EU could become a political
force. The EU had its own distinctive features which were different
from those of the US.
Mr Wang: The Chinese wanted people to be united
on their assessment on Tibet. The phrase "multi-polar"
had been abandoned for "harmonious world" in Chinese
terminology. As far as the arms embargo was concerned, the EU
was not as powerful as it thought and had not lifted the embargo
in 2005. It was a worrying sign that there was no hostility in
Europe to China because of the lack of pressure from outside.
The young generation in China was politically disengagedbut
they loved American culture. It was not good for China's development
that the Chinese were not allowed to know about the opinion of
China by others and it was not easy to break through this wall.
Media emphasis should change to focus on the national government.
In the Foreign Ministry the focus was on the US and Japan, not
on the EU. In foreign affairs in general it was not always possible
to ascertain who was directing policy. In the case of the first
North Korean nuclear test, it was said that the exact wording
of the communiqué had been drafted by the President, but
it could also have been the Asia bureau or the Section Chief.
Other comments (David Ward, British Embassy): BBC
World is not available generally. Every province had some 12 channels,
driven by commercial considerations. CCTV was the official channel
which ran some advertisements. China had not been tested on any
questions of leadership in the world. It did as little as possible
to join the WTO. China would probably like to deal mainly with
the US. The Chinese people were not allowed to know about the
opinion of others. The public perception of China was very different
in China and internationally.
Meeting with Development and Research Centre of
Guangdong Government, Guangzhou, 23 July 2009
Guangdong was not a big province (178,000 sq km,
4.9% of the whole of China) but was the most populous with 7.4%
of the Chinese population. Guangdong had experienced an economic
miracle and was very proud of its unique development path (in
China and in the world). The reasons for this were:
- the favourable policies of central government.
Guangdong had been a pilot province to practise open and reform
policies. There had been an island effect with international and
internal resources directed there;
- a unique geographical location close to Hong
Kong and Macao, both of which had transferred human and financial
resources to Guangdong; Guangdong also attracted talent from other
- practising an export economy to drive economic
Banking deposits of residents had increased 1,558
times in 30 years.
International, bilateral and multilateral relations
were improving. The EU was one of the successful examples of interregional
regions with 33% of the world's economic performance. It was one
of the show cases of a win-win strategy. However there were many
challenges including the gap between developed and less developed
countries in the EU. It was trying to promote close economic and
trade relations but needed an integrated currency. The EU was
one of the important trading partners for Guangdong, 25% of whose
import/exports came from the EU (including trans trade from Hong
Kong). Guangdong would like to learn lessons from the EU.
However, only less than 5% of investment came from
the EU. The reasons were:
- not all the 27 Member States were developed to
the stage where they could invest;
- the EU needed to understand Guangdong better;
- Guangdong needed to be better at advertising
the EU should establish better links. Guangdong needed
technology and technical transfers. The House of Lords' visit
was timely and relevant and the Lords should lobby the EU to relax
the technical transfer agreements. The French had supplied the
technology for nuclear power plants; Germany had supplied the
technology for the metro which had multiple good lines. This showed
that the deregulation of technology transfer was a win-win situation.
It was also true that Guangdong had done well on technology transfer,
partly because of Hong Kong.
Guangdong had a modern service industry and an advanced
manufacturing industry and welcomed investment. The service industry
included finance, logistics, exhibitions, technical services,
trade and services. Guangdong was the headquarters of cultural
creative industries and tourism. Advanced manufacturing include
the automobile, petrochemical, steel, ship building, power transmission
equipment and transformers, ICT Baltac, new materials and new
energy sources, environmental protection and marine technology.
In the automotive industry China worked closely with Japan and
South Korea and had 5 Joint ventures with giants (including Honda,
Toyota, Hyundai and Nissan).
The relationship with Hong Kong was good and the
two could not live without each other. The latter had a dilemma
as on one hand, Hong Kong needed further development and on the
other hand, Hong Kong had limited space for its development, thus
it needed a hinterland for economic develop; this could be Guangdong.
The two were not competitors but could cooperate economically.
Hong Kong had the quality law firms and legal industry. Both had
busy airports and multiple natural ports. Guangdong needed Hong
Kong to develop its world ranking port. Hong Kong had invested
in 60,000 Guangdong companies and the development of these businesses
needs more business services. Macao and Guangdong were crucial
to Hong Kong's development.
Five years ago Guangdong had formulated a five-year
energy saving and emission reduction plan. For example, the city
of Guangzhou will spend 40 billion renminbi in the next 400 days
to clean water. Inward investors were needed to provide high technology.
Hong Kong maintained that Guangdong was polluting them.
Round Table with NGOs on Climate Change: Mr Zong
Wei Dong, China Director Business for Social Responsibility (BSR),
Mr Daniel Gross, Project Manager, BSR, Ms He Zheng, BSR,
Mr Alfred Deng, Research Programme Manager, The Climate Group
(TCG), Dr Liao Cui Ping, Associate Professor, Research Director,
Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion (GIEC), Dr Luo Zhi
Gang, GIEC, Professor Wang Xiao Hui, Ling Nan College, Sun
Yat-sen University (SYSU), Mr Wan Yang, Programme Manager,
Institute for Sustainable Community (ISC) and Ms Shenyu Belsky,
Programme Director, Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), Guangzhou,
23 July 2009
The British Consulate General (CG) has been sponsoring
projects in Guangdong aimed at exploring possibilities for cooperation
in managing climate change. It is appropriate that the Guangzhou
CG leads on this given Guangdong's role in China's export and
foreign direct investment strategy. The inquiry has an interest
in kinds of practical cooperation between UK, Europe and China;
and has a particular interest in cooperation on climate change.
Ms Belsky: Southern China has played a pivotal role
in China's economic development and hence climate change. We focus
on two content areas: environment and health; energy and climate
change. We work indirectly with the CG and support the same kinds
of projects; such as carbon accounting and recording; community-based
energy efficiency projects; and studies of the industrial strategies
and low-carbon road-maps. On the energy and climate change content
we look at US and China relations, looking at two levels: the
central level on climate dialogue; and at the provincial level
in Guangdong encouraging state-to-state cooperative projects between
Guangdong and California.
Prof. Wang: SYSU has been conducting training programmes
through the Business School aimed at raising awareness on environmental
areas, through a programme: Environment, Health and Safety Accountability.
This has been part funded by CG, and seeks to keep officials up
to date on important areas like climate change and low carbon
up-grade issues. Numbers are up to 200 and come from three main
government agencies: environmental protection; trade and economic
commission; and development and reform commission. From autumn
2009 a new building will be opened which will permit a wider programme
of research and training on questions of environmental awareness
and low-carbon economy.
Dr Luo: Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion
is an energy research institute that provides energy policy advice
to the central and provincial government. Dr Luo is from
the department of energy strategy development which is responsible
for policy development in areas such as climate change and carbon
capture, helping decision-makers to improve the quality of their
policy and developing cooperation with international partners.
The Institute hoped to coordinate between Guangdong and international
investors in the development of low carbon technology and infrastructure.
After approval by London in March 2009, they are now working on
an SPF project which aims to develop a Low Carbon Economy Roadmap
for Guangdong. This project is one of two ongoing SPF projects
managed by CG Guangzhou.
Mr Zhou: BSR is a US based NGO, has worked jointly
with the UK NGO The Climate Group to implement a carbon management
capacity building programme. This programme will operate for Chinese
businesses and for international businesses investing in GD, including
the largest transnational corporations.
Mr Wan: ISC is a US NGO promoting sustainable
development and energy efficiency operating in industries and
communities. The main focus is on community projects and in civil
society development in areas of environmental protection. They
currently operate four programmes out of Guangdong: environmental
health and safety academies, working with business communities
to bring in good practice; community awareness, seeking to mobilise
common Chinese people on the importance of climate change and
energy consumption; third element is working with educational
establishments from schools to universities, to build teaching
and research on environmental issues; and the fourth element is
directed at local officials increasing awareness on the issues
and laws in relation to environmental protection and climate change.
Mr Deng: The Climate Group is a UK based NGO
that promotes the concept of low carbon economy and advocates
for climate change actions globally. The aim is to promote climate
change awareness by creating a coalition of business and government
internationally. Active in China since 2007 with offices in Beijing
and Hong Kong, they have established partnerships with government
departments and businesses; and are also active in Chinese cities
developing awareness on climate change and energy use. Guangdong
has the potential to be a case for low carbon high development
model. They have had good communication with Guangdong top leaders
on core projects, including the low carbon model. TCG cooperates
with Chinese specialists in Chinese Academy of Sciences and the
provincial governments in many parts of China to create a network
on projects aimed at dealing with climate change.
Mr Zhou: In China most of the climate change
agenda remains in the sphere of policy debate, particularly the
need to influence Beijing. If Beijing can be convinced of the
need for a course of action then it will happen, so there is clear
linkage between macro-level policy and micro-level response and
people wait for Beijing to show the lead. When implementation
arrives it is most likely that China will adopt an incentive-based
set of policies: encouraging business to control energy use and
adopt new cleaner technologies by schemes of fiscal and financial
incentives. This requires consideration of the other part of the
equationinvestment in research to develop the new technologies
that businesses require.
Mr Deng: There is clear evidence that businesses
are seeking to respond to the environment agenda and they look
to the government both to set the policy context and provide the
financial support for development of the new technologies. There
is evident ambition of Chinese enterprises to try and win market
share in the growth area of clean technologies. We do need to
develop environment awareness among China's businesses in the
area of corporate social responsibilities; but businesses do want
to make their expansion sustainable, so we need to develop lines
of policy and communication that will allow then to do so. We
need to understand better how businesses will operate in future
under the transition to a low-carbon economy, as they face both
opportunities and risks.
Dr Luo: We must approach the question of the
low carbon economy from the perspective of business competitiveness.
Businesses have to understand that clean growth is the route to
greater efficiency in relation to their market competitors. Chinese
businesses unquestionably consumes far more energy in relation
to their international competitors, and therefore they will be
forced to make changes in energy use as competitive pressures
Mr Zhou: We are working with a lot of factories
and businesses in the Pearl River delta and across Guangdong.
We go to these factories and talk to owners and managers to help
them to reduce their emissions and improve their energy efficiency.
Businesses will have different reactions; and we need to understand
their motivations. On the one hand they are not prepared to discuss
restriction of their business development; on the other they are
concerned with long-term sustainability. Of course, it is also
important to raise awareness of environmental responsibility among
Consulate General: When the Consulate General began
working on public communication it realised quickly it needed
to build a constituency of people and organisations. So we have
been trying to create a South China climate change network, which
is part of the mandate of GIEC, to share knowledge and best practice
on achieving low carbon economies.
Prof. Wang: Public awareness on the low carbon issue
is relatively low compared to government and academics. What can
the EU do about this? At present funding and activities are very
limited; and EU could do more; for example, providing funding
to universities, with open programmes for educational awareness.
The EU should do more in comparison with the US, which is more
Meeting with Mr Yang Dong, Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference, Guangzhou 24 July 2009
The CPPCC would celebrate 60 years of existence in
September 2009. In 1949 The first plenary of the CPPCC had decided
the capital, agreed the change to the international calendar system,
and selected the national anthem and flag. After the National
Peoples' Congress was founded in 1955 as the organ of state power,
the CPPCC has remained and continued to play a significant role.
It was the organisation of the Chinese people and promoted democracy
in political life through multi-party cooperation. It worked together
with the Committee of the Communist Party, the National Peoples'
Congress and the government, all of whom complemented each other
under the Communist Party. The CPPCC was the only organ for democratic
consultation and had a wide representation with 34 circles, e.g.
for democratic political parties, people's communities, science,
economy, culture, art, education, all the provinces and representatives
from Hong Kong and Macao. The membership was different in different
provinces according to the work which needed to be done. There
was one Chairman, with 9 Vice-Chairmen, four from the Communist
Party and the rest were leaders of democratic parties. The name
of the leader of the provincial CPPCC was discussed by the political
parties. In Guangdong there were 980 members including 200 standing
The leaders of the CPPCC were elected anonymously in a plenary
Committee members could say what they wanted and
make suggestions. One plenary meeting and four standing committee
meetings were held each year and each plenary made some 700 proposals
to the relevant government department for action. Committee members
could make proposals on the internet and there were 112 departments
for handling the internet proposals this year. One third had received
a reply so far. Committee members also performed the role of checking
the implementation of proposals. Committee members represented
all walks of life and should reflect public opinion, for example
on noise, pollution and other matters important to local people.
The committee members put these concerns forward to the CPPCC
which would take the matter forward. It was also possible for
people to report directly to a government department. An example
had been when a Guangzhou resident had reported to the Environmental
Protection Department that he could not sleep. The matter was
not dealt with so he reported it to the CPPCC. It was investigated
and the officials concerned were criticised.
Each committee of the CPPCC carries out a series
of research projects and investigations each year. For example,
one of the CPPCC's committees covered population and the environment
and carried out investigations into environmental protection.
Attention was particularly paid to water resources and pollution.
The CPPCC researched into and made recommendations to the provincial
government on the subject. The Department for Environmental Protection
also attended meetings to advise the CPPCC.
A new committee for foreign affairs had been created
3 years previously. It received high-level delegations from overseas,
including from parliaments. It also issued invitations to officials
of Consulates General. The CPPCC visited foreign countries to
get a better understanding of their political institutions and
social systems. There had been no exchanges on economic collaboration
yet. The CPPCC had few contacts with the EU Chamber of Commerce.
Contact was mainly between the provincial government and the Chamber
Visit to Strix Factory, Guangzhou, 24 July 2009
The British (Manx) manufacturer of controls for electrical
heating appliances, Strix, set up its first overseas office in
Hong Kong in 1989 and opened its factory in Guangzhou in 1997.
China is the biggest consumer of electric kettles. Strix has 62%
of world-wide sales of kettle control units, but in China, copies
of Strix products account for around 20% of market share. In China
there were 10 serious copies of the product. Taking people to
court could fail and opponents can often prolong legal battles
considerably, but people knew that Strix would always take action
if its patent was infringed. It cost Strix six times what it cost
the opponent to take action. Strix have to use both Chinese and
international lawyers, which was more expensive. As kettles fitted
with copies were often unsafe, a faster route to stopping the
copying was to explain the safety issue to local authorities (in
China and other countries where the products end up) and then
leave them to decide how to proceed. The kettles would sometimes
be taken off the market putting pressure on the Chinese infringers
to close down. One successful way to harm the infringers was to
seize the copied products when they arrived in a container in
Europe as they had already been paid for and it damaged the reputation
of suppliers. The Germans were good at stopping containers.
The Commission had been very active recently in Brussels
and Beijing on IPR (intellectual property rights). Intervention
by the UK Government was better received and more helpful and
Strix relied more on them than the EU for assistance. An EU system
existed (Rapex) for notifying Member States if an electric kettle
was found to be unsafe in the UK, but there was no common action
and the system was not very fast. The Commission was very reluctant
to take up individual manufacturing cases but did a considerable
amount of macro work. Strix did not feel they were handicapped
by not having an EU representative in Guangzhou.
Briefing with Maria Castillo Fernandez, Head of
EU Commission in Hong Kong and Macao, Rudolf Hykl, Czech Consul
General, accompanied by Neale Jagoe, Head of Policy Sections,
British Consulate General, Hong Kong, 24 July 2009
Mr Jagoe: The UK has a political, legal and
moral responsibility to the people of Hong Kong (HK). In recent
years, when the UK has raised Hong Kong issues, it has often found
support from the EU. In December 2007, the British Foreign Secretary
made a statement expressing disappointment at the ruling out,
by the Central Government, of universal suffrage for elections
to be held in Hong Kong in 2012. The EU, led by the Slovenian
Presidency made a similar statement a few weeks later, which provoked
a strong reaction from the Hong Kong Government. In January 2009,
visiting FCO Minister Bill Rammell expressed concern to the Hong
Kong Government at the postponement of a public consultation on
arrangements for elections to be held in 2012. The EU, led by
the local Czech Presidency, expressed concern in similar terms.
There has been speculation recently that Beijing
is keen for democratic reform to succeed in Hong Kong, so as to
provide a reassurance to Taiwan. The huge turnout by Hong Kong
people at the vigil to commemorate the 20th anniversary
of the Tiananmen massacre had shown the attachment of Hong Kong
people to their rights and freedoms.
Ms Castillo: There is good cooperation among the
Europeansnot only formal but also informalHK is
a platform for entry into China; this was evident on the anniversary
of 4 June when there were major anniversary commemorations. Consequently
HK is important for influence into China; but there is also a
reverse process by which Beijing pursues Taiwan by means of HK.
EU-Hong Kong Trade and commercial links continue to expand; and
they continue to move towards European standards of regulation;
we are also moving to new areas for example, in civil aviation.
Macao and HK have Market Economy Status; the PRC does not. The
main obstacle in China is IPR
Seventeen EU Member States are present in HK. The
EC structure is vertical: HK inputs to Brussels on the same basis
as Beijing. The EC has 13 staff: 4 from the EC and 9 local agents.
The EC has limited manpower compared to Member States such as
UK, France, or Germany. This is not adequate for the level of
political work that has to be undertaken, but Brussels will not
expand the representation.
Meeting with Stephen Lam, Secretary for Constitutional
and Mainland Affairs, Hong Kong SAR Government and Andrew Seaton,
HM Consul General, Hong Kong, 25 July 2009
Hong Kong's financial situation is stable: prudent
lending and regulatory policies, and solid bank capital ratios
had meant that there had been no need for bank recapitalisation
or rescues. HK businesses have 100,000 factories in the PRC with
10 million employees: this is three times the HK workforce. HK
has outsourced its business skills in exchange for land, labour,
and environmental conditions.
The triangular relations between the PRC, Taiwan
and HK have changed in the wake of Lien Chan's 2005 visit to China
and the coming to power of the Ma Ying Jeou administration: the
position of Kuomintang (KMT) leadership (in Taiwan) and HK government
are now much closer. HK needs formal announcement of negotiations
between Beijing and Taipei: if this happens free trade arrangements
could be possible. This would see a capital and commodity free
trade zone; but not freedom of movement of people or transfer
Guangdong is the closest mainland economic partner
of HK; it provides basic commodities, is the location of the biggest
concentration of Hong Kong investment in the mainland (although
Hong Kong companies are the biggest external investors in every
mainland province) and is a strong market for Hong Kong capital
and professional services. Hong Kong's business relationship with
the mainland is supported very strongly by the Closer Economic
Partnership Arrangement which allows free market access to the
mainland for Hong Kong-based companies in a growing range of sectors.
HK companies are now paying more attention to the Chinese hinterland
where its core function remains capital inter-mediation: PRC and
Taiwanese firms will list in the HK exchange in the future.
HK's political future remains as set out in Basic
Law and is governed by the One Country Two Systems principle,
under which Hong Kong maintains its own rights, freedoms, and
economic and political systems. At present the Legislative Council
(LegCo) is elected, partly by direct elections; and partly though
sector-based functional constituencies. The Chief Executive is
indirectly elected. The National Peoples' Congress in Beijing
has overall responsibility for HK constitutional development.
In 2007 it was decided that universal suffrage would be introduced
into Hong Kong for the election of the Chief Executive in 2017
and in the elections for LegCo in 2020. There is a dual system
of selection in which candidates for Chief Executive cannot be
selected without consensus in HK and approval in Beijing. The
Chief Executive then has considerable power to make senior government
appointments in a quasi-Presidential system. Even though universal
suffrage has been deferred there are still possibilities for democratic
development, both in the short term electoral arrangements, where
the Government would be consulting the community on possible reforms
to the current system, in time for the 2012 elections, and in
considering in the longer term the application to Hong Kong of
accepted standards of universality and equality.
Meeting with Frank Ching, Hong Kong Political
Commentator, Hong Kong, 25 July 2009
The English language press had been marginalised
since 1997 and was now much less influential than before. While
previously the government would leak information to the South
China Morning Post, now it does so to Chinese language media In
general people were much better informed than previously because
of the internet, and most got their information from the television
and internet, rather that from newspapers. In China 30 years ago
Chinese officials would not talk and dissidents sought you out.
Now the MFA held 2 press conferences a week and had a website,
but they edit the press conference proceedings before putting
them on the website. If there was self-censorship in the Hong
Kong media, it was hard to prove.
Human rights were much improved in China compared
with 30 years previously. In the past the government used to be
involved in every aspect of life: people were assigned a job,
a study course, travel. Large areas had opened up and people could
now choose their jobs. China had not ratified the CPPR but the
US had not ratified the CESCR. Every year China put out a report
on human rights in the US the day after the publication of the
US report. The Chinese report tended to focus on racial and other
social issues. China said that it had lifted hundreds of millions
out of poverty and the right to life was most important.
The Chinese Ambassador to the EU had put out a statement
about Xinjiang saying that the western press was prejudiced and
European governments should understand that the riots had been
instigated by the Chair of the World Uighur Congress. China would
like the EU to support China's position on this as well as on
Tibet. China had been more open in allowing the press to the area
this year. One journalist had been expelled from Tibet, although
his reporting was fairly objective in general. China did not want
the press in the city of Kashgar. China would like more sympathetic
coverage of the minorities issue. China did not consider that
there was a minority problem but believed that there were people
who were not identifying with China and that the problem came
from outside agitators, and not Chinese policy.
Meeting with Jasper Tsang, President of the Legislative
Council and Maria Tam of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment
and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), Hong Kong, 25 July 2009
Ms Tam: The 2007 decision by the National Peoples'
Congress Standing Committee on future electoral arrangements in
Hong Kong meant that in the 2012 elections LegCo would retain
geographic and functional constituenciesbicameral within
one legislature. No significant decisions will be taken on the
introduction of universal suffrage in 2017/20 before 2012. Democratic
and conservative factions have different views on thisdemocratic
factions want to push for a decision on 2017/2020 arrangements
now, whereas the conservative factions are content to wait for
2012. Under the NPC decision, the Chief Executive will be chosen
by universal suffrage in 2017, although there will be some kind
of selection process to determine who can stand as a candidate.
For LegCo the electoral process is not decided: in particular
there is a major debate on whether or not the functional constituencies
will continue to have a place in a universal suffrage system.
Some Legco members are also Deputies of the National Peoples'
Congress. In the eyes of many Chinese HK is as free as it has
ever been: there is more popular representation under this system
than had been the case under the former colonial system.
Mr Tsang: DAB is the largest political party
in Hong Kong. Its roots are as a welfarist movement which addresses
grassroots economic and social concerns and needs, seeing these
as a higher priority than political rights and democratic development.
The continuation of functional politics in Hong Kong reflects
Beijing's preferred model of representation.
Meeting with Pan-democratic Legislators; Ms Margaret
Ng, Civic Party, Ms Cyd Ho, Civic Act Up, Ms Emily Lau, Democratic
Party, Mr Alan Leong, Civic Party and Mr James To, Liberal
Party, Hong Kong, 25 July 2009
Ms Ng: It was important to maintain relations with
the European Parliament (which she had visited) because of China's
economic development. China was looking at Europe but how to keep
up lobbying on democracy and human rights was a challenge. There
should be no functional constituencies. The UK introduced this
system but it should now condemn it as the transitional period
Ms Lau: HK remains an international citythe
consular presence in the city indicates its continued linkage
to the international system. The UK had a special role but the
UK Government/FCO had not been robust; the UK started the process
of political change in HK before the handover but has not followed
through since 1997. I asked Margaret Thatcher 'Is national interest
the basis for moral behaviour in international politics?' as she
delivered Hong Kong into the hands of a communist dictatorship.
Only Alan Leong is allowed into mainland China; the UK should
raise the question of why HK democrats are not allowed into PRC.
Why are there different standards of Chinese citizenship?
Mr Leong: The present system could not be phased
out: it had to be rejected to allow politics to advance. Politics
was being polarised between the DAB and LSDprofessionals
favour some kind of middle ground. HK is still run by its business
interests, and the UK shares in these intereststhe UK is
no longer the HK government but it is still a shareholder in HK.
The UK is therefore complicit in the bargain between the CCP and
Mr To: We should be clear that universal suffrage
means 'universally accepted form of popular suffrage'. The Beijing
plan of geographic-functional constituencies and vote-counting
system enshrines its control. For the Chief Executive it will
control the nomination process and for LegCo it controls the voting
EU Chamber of Commerce in China
Summary of Meeting with Lord Teverson, House of
Lords, 24 September 2009
These notes complement those from Sub-Committee C's
meeting with the EUCCC during their visit to China in July.
Lord Teverson met the delegation of the EU Chamber
of Commerce in China (EUCCC) in the House of Lords on 24 September
2009. The delegation consisted of:
- Mr Joerg Wuttke, President of the EUCCC
and Chief Representative of BASF in China
- Ms Lyn Kok, EUCCC Vice-President and Managing
Director of Standard Chartered Bank in China
- Mr Loesekrug-Pietri, Chair of the EUCCC
Private Equity and Strategic M&A Working Group
- Mr Jens Ruebbert, Deutsche Bank
- Mr Tony Robinson, EUCCC Business Manager
The EUCCC made the following points:
China is more important than ever, but economic reforms
are lagging. China is one of the lowest employment generating
economies in Asia. The Chinese economy is plagued by over-capacity,
which destroys research and development activities in China.
The private sector is growing but is still underdeveloped.
Most of the recent stimulus has benefited the state-owned sector.
It is a mixed picture on EUCCC concerns, with progress
in some areas and back-pedalling on others. Major concerns include
market access, administrative cooperation, transparency and intellectual
A lack of IPR protection poses problems for outside
investors and acts as a brake on China's development.
How can the EU address the problems?
Be united, do not let the Chinese drive a wedge between
the 27 Member States.
We should not focus too much attention on the trade
imbalance and currency issues.
Pinpoint areas where China has a vested interest,
e.g. where it is vulnerable to action taken through the WTO.
The EUCCC is seeking to bolster the arguments of
the pro-reformers in the Chinese state, including Vice-President
Xi Jing Ping.
We should not have an inferiority complex with regard
to China, as Commissioner Verheugen has said. We can be assertive
There is a link between the EU's openness to Chinese
investment and the Chinese willingness to accept European investment
in China. We must improve the attractiveness of Europe as a destination
for business and investment.
Energy and climate change
There is excess of capacity in the power generation
sector in some regions. Utilities must install (but not generate)
4% of their electricity from renewable sources. This has led to
windmills being built in Mongolia, some of which are not even
connected to the grid, as the law does not require them to produce
electricity. The grid company has to only install it to meet the
requirements. The Inner Mongolian grid refuses to allow major
wind power farms to get linked up, as they cause major fluctuations,
which the grid finds difficult to control.
China sees nuclear power as renewable energy. They
have set extremely ambitious targets on building new nuclear power
stations but they lack the engineering capacity to achieve them.
This tends to obscure the fact that every year the
Chinese build 80 Gigawatts worth of coal-fired electricity generation
capacity (in comparison, the power generation capacity of Germany
is 125 GW).
China subsidises its electricity prices, creating
a disincentive to consume less power. This also has the effect
of distorting trade as energy-intensive industries are in effect
receiving a form of subsidy (e.g. production of solar panels and
steel manufacturing). 90% of solar panels made in China are exported.
The EUCCC is worried about proposals for technology
transfer and financing options under the Copenhagen negotiations.
This is a definite threat. China should not be treated like Sierra
Leone, as it has the largest foreign exchange reserves in the
world (US$ 2.4 trillion) and therefore plenty of money to spend
on new technologies.
China's leaders have made commitments to reduce their
reliance on coal and to improve energy efficiency, but these are
often poorly implemented. The EU should seize the opportunity
to help build China's implementation capacity.
There are indications that some Chinese officials
are waiting for the US to make stronger commitments before going
China has reacted very moderately to Indian protectionism,
perhaps because China needs India as an ally during the negotiations.
The idea of an EU carbon border tax worries the Chinese.
Perhaps this option should remain on the table to put pressure
There has been significant progress in the banking
area over the last 12 months, partly driven by the financial crisis.
However, there are major barriers to accessing the
insurance market, although this does not apply to re-insurance.