Science, Technology and Environment
Science and innovation, Environment and Energy are three interconnected areas which will play an essential role in the shaping of future EU-China relations.
China and the European Union have a longstanding relationship in science & technology (S&T). Engaging together in the fields of research, innovation and science offers many of benefits and opportunities. China places strong emphasis on S&T and innovation, backed-up by significant financial resources. It has seen an increase in the number of scientific papers and of researchers, and offers increasingly favourable conditions for foreign direct investment (FDI). The EU maintains it’s research excellence in a range of fields, is focusing on major societal challenges and is able to work across disciplines. The European Commission set-out it’s plans for the development of an ‘Innovation Union’.
Environment is currently becoming one of the forefront dialogues in EU-China relationships, thanks to the new importance the Chinese authorities are giving to environmental aspects in China’s future development model. Due to the political lead the Commission has taken in this area on the international arena, Beijing clearly sees in the European Union as a strong and reliable partner for achieving a sustainable development.
Finally, the area of Energy cooperation has been up in the political agenda of both the EU and China for some years now. China faces phenomenal challenges to cope with a booming energy demand and coal, one of the most polluting energy sources, plays a major role in its strategy. Beijing is also conscious of the importance to develop a more environment-friendly energy mix and regards the European Union as a privileged partner, one which is sharing the same concerns and facing similar problems.