Tuesday, September 6

Strategic Partnership - v - Strategic Alliance

The eighth China-EU summit, hosted by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao who met yesterday with Tony Blair, representing the presidency of the European Union. The joint statement, issued by the Commission reads like a Sears catalogue for governments and Christmas – if the Chinese believed in it – all rolled into one.
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Running to 26 items, it celebrates the "progressive deepening of the relationship" between the EU and China which, says the statement, "is fast maturing into a comprehensive strategic partnership.
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"The two sides endorsed a memorandum of understanding on labour, employment and social affairs and a joint statement on cooperation in space exploitation, science and technology development.
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This included an expression of satisfaction at the China-EU cooperation within the framework of the Galileo programme and a call for "detailed talks on the conditions related to China's joining of the European GNSS Supervisory Authority". This is the management board of the whole enterprise, which runs the system, and China is to be part of it. And the EU is surprised that the United States is worried?
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The two sides have also agreed to launch "a regular vice foreign ministerial strategic dialogue mechanism" by the end of 2005 "to discuss important international and regional issues and exchange views on bilateral issues of common concern" and a "move towards early negotiations on a new China-EU Framework Agreement."
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The leaders have instructed their respective services to "expedite preparatory work with a view to concluding at an early date an agreement that will reflect the full breadth and depth of the strategic partnership between China and the EU.
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"Furthermore, flying in the face of US treaty commitments that underwrite Taiwan's independence, the EU side "reaffirmed its continued adherence to the one China policy", thereby recognising China's claim to ownership of Taiwan. And, on top of that, the EU reaffirmed its willingness to continue to work towards lifting the arms embargo.
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Of course, as part of the EU, Britain – or, at least the British government – wholly subscribes to this statement.
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While the UK continues to cosy up to China, forging a "strategic alliance" with a state that has pledged to go to invade Taiwan if it declares itself to be an independent state, the United States is strengthening its "strategic partnership" with Australia, leaving the UK in the cold.

1 comment:

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