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.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

UN agriculture agency chief calls on world’s mayors to make ‘global commitments local realities’

Ukraine: turning challenges into opportunities


Galileo and EGNOS programmes back in orbit powered with €70 billion

Immigration crisis at its very worst: EU to outsource rescue business to North Africa?

Russia can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’, say MEPs

IMF launches a new offensive against Germany

Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson: who forced the two ‘brave’ Brexiteers to quit?

Schengen: new rules for temporary checks at national borders

The issue of mental health for modern young doctors

Is continuous sanctioning the way to resolve the Ukrainian crisis?

Global ageing is a challenge – and an opportunity

EUREKA @ European Business Summit 2014: Innovation across borders – mobilising national R&D funds for transnational innovation in Europe

UN chief welcomes start of Church-mediated national dialogue in Nicaragua

We finally have a life-saving vaccine for Ebola

As tech disrupts our jobs, it’s not too late to turn pain into gain

Conflict diamonds and climate change: Cooperate, don’t compete over natural resources urges Guterres

Back to school: Schoolchildren to receive milk, fruits and vegetables at school thanks to EU programme

Why Sweden’s cashless society is no longer a utopia

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Commitments Made to Reduce Black Carbon, Methane and HFCs

“Two Pack” approved: Is democracy chased away from Brussels?

What matters most to young Europeans?

Global economy to see ‘steady’ growth of three per cent in 2019 despite risks, says UN

The crunch ‘COP 24’ UN climate change conference: what’s at stake and what you need to know

This Mexican company is making biofuel from cactus plants

The Parliament rejects cultivating the wrong seeds of the Commission

Let the Italians have it their way, it may be good for all Eurozone

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

The quality of health education around the globe

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Climate-proofing Timor-Leste

Don’t dismiss start-ups founded by millennials. This is how they succeed

Brexit is happening now but the UK hasn’t really assessed the impact of a “no-deal” divorce

Palestine refugee crisis ‘expanding’; leaving highest number at risk this century across Gaza

Chinese tech investors are turning towards MENA. Here’s why

Pumping more money into banks but leaving them unregulated doesn’t help

Safe spaces offer security and dignity for youth, and help make the world ‘better for all’: Guterres

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

3 megatrends for the factories of the future

Yemen: ‘A great first step’ UN declares as aid team accesses grain silo which can feed millions

Search Engine neutrality in Europe in danger: Are 160.000 Google filtering requests good enough?

EU-Russia summit in the shadows of Kiev’s fumes

Brexit: European Commission intensifies preparedness work and outlines contingency action plan in the event of a no deal scenario with the UK

These five exercise trends will help society and your health

A Sting Exclusive: “Change is challenge, change is opportunity”, Commissioner Bienkowska cries out live from European Business Summit 2015

This is how travel hotspots are fighting back against overtourism

Europe split in confronting the US sanctions on Iran, Washington isolated

Movius @ MWC14: Discussing novel Communications Applications over a “CAFÉ”

Radioactive nuclear waste is a global threat. These scientists may have a new solution

Anti-vaccine sentiment one of 10 biggest health threats, says WHO

Human rights: breaches in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan

EU Commission: a rise in wages and salaries may help create more jobs

High unemployment to continue haunting the EU

Google’s bare truth: Europe’s Chief denies EU accusations but admits they “don’t always get it right”

Italy’s populist government appears determined to drive EU economy and markets into recession

5 lessons for the future success of virtual and augmented reality

Scientists are using machine learning to unlock the mysteries of long-dead languages

Palestinian students ‘compelled to drop dreams because of financial cuts’

Quality Education on the table at the European Parliament

Libya stands at a ‘critical juncture’, UN mission head tells Security Council

Central African Republic: UNICEF outlines key actions so fresh peace deal can make real difference for children

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about to hit the construction industry. Here’s how it can thrive

More Stings?

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