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Ministry of Education
Tyumen State University
Faculty of History and Political Science
Department of Contemporary History and International Relations
European Union - SS 2004
Topic: How far is China from Europe?
924 B group
Robert Bosch Foundation lecturer
During the centuries, the Europeans were trying for getting to China. Nowadays, we can see practically the same picture. But unlike the Middle Ages, the Europe has strong rivals in the face of Russia and the USA. All of this political actors are trying to become a main trade partner of China, perhaps, the most favorable market in the world. The resources of China are great, and investments into them could provide also great profit in future. Also we should mention that China is developing country and if the European Union wants to get a strong cooperation with Beijing, it has to help China to become a “European” country. But as we know, China is very far from Europe. How could the EU help to China to become a “part” of Europe? The XXIst century is a century of technology and information and if the Europeans will build modern society in this Asian state, and if modern technologies of communication will play their role, perhaps, someday, we could say that China is “European” country. In this paper author will try to define how far is China from Europe. To achieve this goal we should investigate EU-China’s relationships and some variants of further cooperation.
In author’s opinion, the main problem of EU-China’s relations is China’s socialist traditions. Because of them, Beijing’s domestic policy is very different from European ideals of democracy and liberal society. That is why one of the most important directions of EU-China’s cooperation is social sphere. But it is necessary to say that social direction is not the only one – the economic cooperation is also very important direction of EU-China’s relationships. On the 15th of May 2002, the EU adopted a new strategy towards China: implementation of the 1998 Communication and future steps for a more effective EU policy
This communication recalls and confirms in a comprehensive and coherent manner the objectives of the EU policy regarding China defined in 1998. In its 1998 Communication entitled "Building a comprehensive partnership with China", the Commission set out the following objectives:
engaging China further in the international community through an upgraded political dialogue;
supporting China's transition to an open society based upon the rule of law and respect for human rights and democracy;
integrating China further in the world economy by bringing it more fully into the world trading system and by supporting the process of economic and social reform under way in the country;
making better use of existing European financial resources;
raising the EU's profile in China.
Although it considers that these objectives remain valid in the long term, the Commission believes that the existing instruments should be improved and fine-tuned in order to take account of the developments since 1998 and to make EU policy more effective. This Communication therefore provides a comprehensive and forward-looking review by the Union of its objectives and of the dialogue and cooperation mechanisms in place for implementing EU policy towards China. It also suggests ways of developing EU-China relations by defining concrete and practical short and medium-term action points for EU policy.
In authors opinion it is very important to investigate all of this objectives in details.
At first we shall speak about engaging China further in the international community. According to EU’s web site: “ Political dialogue with China has been already been strengthened through regular meetings of foreign ministers, ambassadors and senior officials. There is also agreement to hold regular talks at expert level on selected issues.
In order to take account of the fact that China is a growing economic and political power, it is appropriate to involve it in the management of most major global issues, such as arms proliferation, trafficking in human beings, the fight against organised crime or environmental degradation.
Specifically, the Commission proposes continuing the political dialogue at political director level on a half-yearly basis and scheduling half-yearly troika dialogue expert meetings with China in areas such as Asian affairs, non-proliferation and disarmament. It also proposes establishing regular dialogue of troika political counsellors in Beijing with the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs on selected regional and international issues.
The Commission recommends carrying out a regular evaluation of the outcome and effectiveness of this political dialogue, and enhancing it as necessary by establishing a framework of regular meetings.
This enhanced political dialogue must give priority to:
human rights concerns;
combating illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings;
combating organised crime;
regional issues (reconciliation between the two Koreas, cooperation with regard to Burma, negotiated solution to the territorial claims in the South China Sea, the Taiwan issue);
disarmament and limiting arms proliferation and exports;
promoting multilateral dialogue on security (preventing conflicts at regional and international level).”
From all mentioned above we can see that EU realize that China is to serious “power” and it is impossible not to take it into consideration. It is important to involve China into managing worldwide problems. Both the EU and China would get profit from it. The EU would get a strong partner in such vast region as Asia, at the same time China’s international prestige would grow.
According to EU’s strategy towards China, the European Union is supporting China’s transition to an open society. That means: “ This involves making the human rights dialogue with China more effective and results-oriented. It is important to identify ways of assisting China in implementing the recently ratified United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and to encourage China to ratify the UN Covenant on Political and Civil Rights.
In addition, the Commission plans to continue implementation and preparation of Community human rights programmes addressing the rule of law and legal reform, economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights, and democracy.”
Despite on China’s economic and political power it has very serious differences from Europe, especially at providing civil rights and democratic liberties. As a result China could not become an international “conflict manager”. If you are not agree try to imagine such picture: China is providing civil rights in Northern Korea, for example, and at the same time it could not provide the same civil rights on it’s own territory. Or how can you imagine such situation when beggar is giving you advice how to become a millionaire? So, before China will start solving problems of other states, it has to solve it’s own problems, perhaps, with using of the EU’s experience on this case.
The next point of EU’s strategy towards China is integrating China further in the world economy. According to EU’s web site: “ In the area of trade, the Commission highlights the importance of ensuring the correct implementation of the commitments made by China within the framework of the World Trade Organisation. There must be close cooperation between the EU and China in order to promote the development and liberalisation of world trade. In this respect, it is important to support the activities of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China and EU and Chinese companies in their EU-China Business Dialogue initiative.
The EU must also continue to encourage China's process of economic and social reforms. In particular, China must be assisted in establishing an effective social security network and developing its education system and human resources through programmes targeting universities, civil servants, young professionals, lawmakers and the media.
Moreover, the Commission calls for greater dialogue on key sectors such as the information society, the environment, energy, science and technology, enterprise policy, industrial standards and certification, customs, maritime transport, securities markets and competition policy.”
China gets financial help from the European Union, which in turn needs guarantee of qualitative using of its funds. The European finances should not sink in bureaucrats’ pockets – they should benefit. The member states of the EU took into consideration this moment and made another point of their strategy towards China – making better use of existing European resources. According to EU’s web site: “ In this area, the Commission advocates strengthening the long-term programming of aid for China by finalising the Country Strategy Paper (CSP), which defines the overall objectives and key areas of intervention and the mechanisms of