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EU plans closer trade ties with China

The European Union (EU) is looking to have closer ties with China. The new strategy on China will hasten the pace of cooperation especially in areas of trade and market status under the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, analysts say. The strategy was brought to light in a joint communiqué issued last Wednesday by the European Commission and the European Parliament.

The document said that Europe sees China as a partner, which is rapidly increasing its international influence and should be more closely engaged for the next five years. China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has said they are willing to develop ties with the European Union from long-term perspective after gaining this information and China is urging EU members to grant market economy status to China in December.

The European Commission's last communication on China was adopted a decade ago in 2006. Since then both the EU and China have undergone considerable changes since then and China has a stronger presence in all regions of the world, economically and politically. Trade between China and the EU amounted to 521 billion euros in 2015 and China's share of total EU trade in goods has doubled since 2002, rising from 7 to 15 per cent, data from EU show.