Europe focuses on Beijing's new leadership
Updated: 2012-10-20 08:35
By Fu Jing in Brussels (China Daily)
Joint summit expected in 2013
Brussels will attach great importance to Beijing's upcoming leadership transition while pledging to further strengthen the bilateral strategic partnership, European leaders say.
This message was delivered by European Council President Herman van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Friday.
"In the long-term perspective, it is in Europe's core interest that China succeeds," Van Rompuy said.
European leaders at their autumn summit on Thursday and Friday reached a consensus on integrating banking supervision and increasing jobs and growth to shake off the debt crisis and economic recession. Leaders of the 27 European Union member states agreed to set up a banking supervision mechanism and put it into operation next year. This follows the establishment last month of the European Stability Mechanism, an international organization based in Luxembourg, which provides financial help to members of the eurozone in financial difficulty.
The review of the Brussels-Beijing relationship on Friday came after the two sides held a summit last month. It also comes against the backdrop of tension between Beijing and Tokyo over the Diaoyu Islands.
Van Rompuy said the September summit with Beijing was a "very positive" one. Both sides have agreed to expand political and economic cooperation, and deepen exchanges on urbanization, renewable energy and education.
Brussels has attached great importance to China's leadership transition next month when the 18th Party Congress is held in Beijing.
Van Rompuy said Brussels expects to hold a summit with China's new leaders. "We will come back to this issue early next spring to best prepare the next summit, which should take place in China in the autumn of 2013," he said.
Barroso also said the strategic relationship with China is central to the European and Chinese perspective.
He said Brussels and Beijing are working closely on an investment agreement. Experts say the EU and its member states will focus on keeping positive and constructive relations with Beijing despite the tension between China and Japan.
Peter Guilford, executive chairman of GPlus Europe, a political consulting firm based in Brussels, Paris and London, said the EU is convinced that China is fundamentally committed to peace and prosperity in East Asia.
Nele Noesselt, research fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies, said over the past few decades, the Sino-EU partnership has developed relatively smoothly, and after the financial crisis of 2008, both sides have intensified coordination and consultation.
Noesselt said the focus of strategic coordination between Beijing and Brussels has started to shift from the level of the bilateral partnership to global issues.
Liu Jia contributed to this story.