Monday

16th Sep 2019

Stakeholder

The "sixteen plus one" cooperation will take China-EU relations to a new level

On November 24, the 4th Meeting of Heads of Government of China and the Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) was successfully convened in Suzhou city of China. Under the theme of "New Starting Point, New Fields and New Vision", Premier Li Keqiang and CEEC leaders took stock of the implementation of the Belgrade Guidelines for cooperation between the two sides. They explored new initiatives and reached extensive consensus on enhancing connectivity and furthering bilateral trade, investment, finance, education, agriculture and regional cooperation as well as people-to-people exchanges.

Two important documents signed

During the meeting, Premier Li proposed to set up a "one goal plus six priorities" framework for China-CEEC cooperation, calling for joint efforts to realize the shared goal of building a new type of open, inclusive and win-win partnership and press ahead with the six prioritized fields for cooperation - defining the roadmap for fostering cooperation, promoting synergy in development strategies, setting up new models of production capacity cooperation, innovating investment and finance cooperation, boosting trade and investment as well as expanding people-to-people exchanges.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Two important documents - the Mid-term Plan on China-CEEC Cooperation and the Suzhou Guidelines for China-CEEC Cooperation were adopted, making the Suzhou Meeting a new milestone in the development of the China-CEEC relationship.

China-CEEC cooperation is often referred to as the "sixteen plus one" cooperation. The current dynamic "sixteen plus one" cooperation is not only based on the traditional friendly ties but also driven by growing practical demand of both sides. The economies of China, the largest developing country in the world, and the sixteen countries, most of which emerging markets, are highly complementary. The Chinese enterprises can leverage their full-fledged experiences and technologies in infrastructure building to help the CEE countries where demands of the kind are increasingly rising.

To find synergy between China's manufacturing capacities with the development strategy of CEE countries becomes a win-win choice for Chinese enterprises to "go global" and for the latter to boost their economic growth.

Ever since its establishment in 2012, the Meeting of Heads of Government of China and the CEE countries has played an integral part in guiding and driving the cooperation to the fast track of development.

Bilateral trade has been growing remarkably and two-way investment expanding to more and more sectors. In 2014, trade volume between the two sides exceeded US$ 60 billion, an increase of almost 50% over 2010. Direct Chinese investment in the CEE countries hit US$ five billion, providing a great amount of employment and development opportunities for local residents.

From Warsaw to Bucharest, from Belgrade to Suzhou

A series of key cooperation projects have been launched under the framework of the "sixteen plus one" mechanism. With the Chinese loans, construction of Danube River Bridge in Belgrade of Serbia, thermal power station in Sitannali of Bosnia, new Macedonia highways and reconstruction of Kostolac power station have started smoothly and continued to make progress. More projects, including Hungary-Serbia railway and China-Europe land-sea express passage, are under discussion.

The "sixteen plus one" cooperation is transparent, open and inclusive. Being part and parcel of the China-EU cooperation, it complements and adds more value to the comprehensive strategic partnership. It has helped to unleash the potential vitality of the CEE countries which cover one third of the EU territory and accommodate one fourth of its population. More importantly, it will be beneficial in promoting EU's integration by addressing the uneven development among EU's member states.

Future China-EU cooperation

The "sixteen plus one" cooperation also fits well with the future direction of China-EU cooperation as defined by the leaders of both sides. During his visit to the EU headquarters last year, President Xi Jinping and his European counterparts agreed on establishing the China-EU partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization.

This year, China and the EU reached consensus on drawing synergies between the Belt and Road initiative and the development strategy, the global production capacity cooperation and the Juncker plan, as well as China-CEEC cooperation and China-EU cooperation. Giving full play to their geographic location connecting the Asian and European continent, the CEE countries can play a critical role in infrastructure and connectivity building as well as global production capacity cooperation, thus contributing to the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.

From Warsaw to Bucharest, from Belgrade to Suzhou, the "sixteen plus one" cooperation is growing stronger in the span of four years. It has brought win-win benefits to China, the CEE countries and the EU, proving that countries from different regions with different systems can brave a new path in seeking for cooperation.

Suzhou meeting has turned a new page for China-CEEC cooperation. Looking to the future, we are fully confident that it will inject new impetus to China-CEEC and China-EU relations, and take China-EU cooperation to a new level.

Author bio

Charge d'affaire a.i., Mr. Zhang Lirong, Chinese Mission to the European Union.

Disclaimer

This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

China-EU Relations: Broader, Higher and Stronger

H.E. Ambassador Yang Yanyi, Head of the Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union looks into the year 2015 as China and the EU celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Transforming the EU's response to forced displacement

Only through joining up external policies to ensure no one is left behind, establishing a humane and predictable asylum system, and recognising humanitarian emergencies are a political emergency, can the EU champion the humanitarian response globally.

News in Brief

  1. Nearly 100 refugees evacuated from Libya to Italy
  2. Juncker to meet Johnson on Monday
  3. First Hungary 'Article 7' hearing set for Monday
  4. Vestager picks Danish EU ambassador as cabinet head
  5. Commissioner hearings will start 30 September
  6. Italy says EU countries agree to take in rescued migrants
  7. Germany to organise Libya conference on arms embargo
  8. European Parliament to support another Brexit delay

Stakeholders' Views

This EUobserver section provides a platform for EU stakeholders to communicate positions, views and activities.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Brexit and new commission in focus This WEEK
  2. As recession looms Europe needs more spending
  3. How should the EU handle Russia now?
  4. EU defence bravado criticised by auditors
  5. Central European leaders demand EU Balkan accession
  6. Luxembourg's cannabis legalisation is EU opportunity
  7. The Catalan National Day has been a success. Why?
  8. Why I'm voting against the von der Leyen commission

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us