10th ASEM in Milan and the importance of being one: EU’s big challenge on the way to China

Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of China, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council consulting a book (from right to left). This photo was taken during ASEM Milan 2014 last week and depicts the significant EU interest in further enhancing China-EU relations (EC Audiovisual Services, 15/10/2014)

Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of China, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council consulting a book (from right to left). This photo was taken during ASEM Milan 2014 last week and depicts the significant EU interest in further enhancing China-EU relations (EC Audiovisual Services, 15/10/2014)

The 10th Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM) in Milan, Italy, concluded last Friday after two full days of work. The meeting was established in 1996 and it has since become a key forum for new cooperation proposals between Europe and Asia.

Russia-Ukraine question has probably been the this edition’s hottest topic under the spotlight, as Milan summit offered indeed Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko a big chance to have discussions about the still delicate Russia-Ukraine question and to reach important agreements.

That was not all that happened in the Northern Italian city though. Russia and Ukraine were not the only countries which participated actively to the Milan sessions, maximizing the potential of this meeting between nations. China confirmed itself once again as one of the most active nations on the foreign policy front from that part of the world.

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang was one of the most awaited attendees. The EU and China are two of the biggest traders in the world. China is now EU’s second trading partner behind the United States and the EU is China’s biggest trading partner. Indeed many claim that China saw in the ASEM summit a big opportunity to enhance trade relationship with the EU, as it is no secret that the investment flows from the Old Continent towards China are believed to be far below their potential in the huge Asian country. “Dialogues amongst leaders from the two continents who met in Italy was an occasion for China to seek stronger ties with EU partners”, Thomas Rosenthal, head of strategy and external relations at the Italy-China Foundation, said last week.

An EU official press release at the morrow of the meeting from Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Premier Li Keqiang, showed that the meeting has been satisfactory for both sides, underlining the importance of the EU-China Strategic Partnership. “The EU and China reaffirmed their commitment to finalise as early as possible negotiations on an ambitious bilateral investment agreement, which promotes open markets and a level playing field”, the statement said, also adding that both the EU and China “stressed the crucial importance of their trade and investment relationship”.

At the same time every EU member knows the importance of China for a quicker recovery of the global economy, and that trade could be a key factor to get back to stable growth. The ASEM summit was also the place for further intra-EU discussions on austerity and, indeed, growth. French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi made a plea for growth, stressing the need for expansive measures.

“Relaunching growth is the best way of stabilising the markets”, Hollande told the press as he arrived in Italy’s financial capital for the start of the two-day meeting. “We have cancelled the word ‘growth’ for years to focus on fiscal discipline, but we cannot exit this crisis without investments”, Mr. Renzi echoed. But the two leaders also mentioned the weight of Europe’s internal problems. “Having growth which is so low, having questions and uncertainty about the investment plan which has to be put in place, also having successive austerity plans, one on top of the other, create doubt in the markets”, Mr. Hollande said to the press, as reported by Reuters.

Chinese investors know the situation very well. Indeed some further statements by Mr. Rosenthal to the Chinese Xinhua sounded like a warning. “China is both a driver of the world’s globalization and a follower country eager to exchange experiences and pursue economic cooperation with EU partners,” Rosenthal said. “But the EU member states’ internal divisions and consequent inability to show a unique political face and a common economic strategy pose big obstacles to bilateral dialogue,” he explained to Xinhua.

Many analysts claim that the talks and the agreements reached these days will help boost China-EU trade relations and strengthen collaborations, even though it’s no secret that the lack of a “united” approach by the EU still represents a huge obstacle to further development. And this is some kind of challenge that the EU should win on many fronts.

The 10th ASEM held in Milan took place under the theme “Responsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Security.” Heads of state and governments of 29 European states and 22 Asian partners attended. The next ASEM summit will be held in Mongolia in 2016. We hope that in two years time several positive evolutions in business development and cultural exchange will be able to take interest of EU-Asia discussions to the next level.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Financial markets appear to have rallied. Here’s one way to mitigate further shocks due to COVID-19

Future of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh ‘hangs in the balance’ – UNHCR chief

UNICEF reports uneven progress in 30 years of child rights treaty

Public Policies for LGBT in Brazil

All at sea during COVID-19 lockdown? Try these sailor survival tips

European Union launches WTO trade dispute against Colombia’s unfair duties on frozen fries

In Venezuela, Bachelet calls on Government to release prisoners, appeals for ‘bold steps towards compromise’

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

Agreement on linking the emissions trading systems of the EU and Switzerland

International tourism arrivals hit record high in 2017, UN agency reports

How to build a better world for heart health after COVID-19

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

Mental Health: Role of the individual for their well-being in the pandemic

This chart shows how the energy mix is failing in the fight against climate change

Zimbabwe facing man-made starvation, says UN expert

EU mobilises €9 million to tackle the food crisis in Haiti

Humanitarian Aid 2016: The needs, the highlights, the crisis and the relief

LGBTQ+ inclusion on the other side of the screen

Pakistan-India crossing is a ‘Corridor of Hope’, UN chief says, wraps up visit with call for interfaith dialogue

European Youth Capital 2018 : Cascais

False promises to Small and Medium Enterprises

Negative inflation hits Eurozone, ECB to print and distribute one trillion euro earlier than expected

G20 LIVE: World Leaders in Turkey for G20 Summit. Global Economy will be discussed in Antalya

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

Innovations for Content Professionals at the DCX exhibition 2018 in Berlin, in association with The European Sting

The global appetite for meat is growing, and it’s harming the planet

Schengen: MEPs ready for negotiations on temporary checks at national borders

Gig economy: Employment Committee MEPs want to boost workers’ rights

Why COVID-19 poses a particular threat in the world’s slums

Macron’s Presidency: what the young generation’s expectations are

LGBTQI+ and health care: do they deserve more attention from medical universities?

Bundestag kick starts the next episode of the Greek tragedy

2019 ‘a critical year’ for Somali politics and development says Security Council

Ten UN peacekeepers killed in a terrorist attack in northern Mali

As Yemen relief operations face funding gap, timing of surge in violence ‘couldn’t be worse’

80 million Chinese people no longer pay income tax

COVID19 Pandemic: The Mental Health of Colored Chicks

An economist explains the pros and cons of globalization

Natural hazards don’t always spell disaster: UN risk reduction chief

GSMA Mobile 360 – Digital Societies in Kuala Lumpur, in association with The European Sting

While EU Open Days 2013 discuss the 2020 strategy, Microsoft shares a glimpse of EU 2060

Italian electoral results to change Eurozone climate and weight on the Cyprus issue

Conquering COVID-19 through Collaboration

This is how we make cancer care sustainable and available for all

Ecocraft: take gaming to another level by greening Minecraft

US-China trade war is a ‘lose-lose’ situation for them and the world, warn UN economists

State aid: Commission refers Greece to Court for failure to recover incompatible State aid from mining company Larco

Political consensus critical ahead of Somalia election: UN mission chief

Doctors and nurses around the world are calling in sick

EU-China Light Bridge in Brussels signals the bright coming of the Year of The Dog

Reinforcing EU border security: Visa-exempt travelers will be pre-screened

The “Legend of the Sun” wishes you Happy Chinese New Year 2015 from Brussels

UN human rights office urges Egypt to immediately release detained protestors

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

We have the tools to beat climate change. Now we need to legislate

Mental health: simple ideas that can make a difference

‘Revved up climate action’ needed to counter ‘prolonged’ and deadly storms like Cyclone Idai: Guterres

Modern humanitarian aid at times of global crises

Statement by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría on the outcome of COP 25

Societies must unite against ‘global crisis of antisemitic hatred’, Guterres urges

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s