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In recent years, China has seen sustained high levels of economic growth. Incomes have risen, the numbers of people in poverty have fallen dramatically, and progress has been made towards the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Considerable disparities of income among China’s 1.3 billion population remain. Serious environmental degradation adds to the population’s vulnerability.
Since 2015, projects under the Partnership Instrument (PI) help underpin the new relationship with China after its graduation from bilateral development aid. The PI allows the EU to develop and engage in an overarching political dialogue to promote its strategic links with China. Its global reach and flexibility are essential elements to enable the Union to respond to the fast changing nature of the country and to key policy global challenges.
The Instruments' overall objective is to advance and promote EU and mutual interests by supporting the external dimension of EU internal policies (e.g. competiveness, research and innovation, migration) and by addressing major global challenges (e.g. energy security, climate change and environment). The external projection of the "Europe 2020" Strategy represents a major strategic component of this Instrument.
The PI also addresses specific aspects of the EU's economic diplomacy with a view to improving access to third country markets by boosting trade, investment and business opportunities for European companies. It supports public diplomacy, people to people contacts, academic cooperation and outreach activities to promote the Union's values and interest.