The 20th EU-China Summit has ended with major activity on both sides and will not be overstepped if we describe what it has been achieved as a qualitative step forward not only for the participants, but also for the global economic and political balance. Held against a number of conflict situations such as the unpredictable US policy and the tricky manoeuvres of Russia, the Summit introduced the necessary stability and created conditions for long-term cooperation in key areas.

At the event, both sides pledged to step up dialogue on the protection of intellectual property, to open up their markets, improve investment conditions and to develop synergies between the One Belt, One Road Initiative and the EU Development strategies.

As leading political and economic players, China and the EU have strongly opposed a unilateral approach and trade protectionism and will protect the multilateral trading system on the basis of World Trade Organisation rules. The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to deepen the partnership through the full implementation of the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. The EU has asked China to reduce the regulatory and administrative burden on European investors.

China already has 9 times bigger investments in Europe, than in United States. During the first half of 2018 Chinese FDI were aimed mainly at the European markets, while in the US there was a decline of 92%. For the first six months of 2018, Sweden managed to attract the biggest share of Chinese investments – USD 3.6 billions, followed by Britain, Germany and France.

With regard to security, the European Union and the most populated country in the world have pointed out that they are fully committed to the implementation of the nuclear agreement with Iran. US announced in May that it was withdrawing from the JCPOA, leaving a dangerous vacuum in the control mechanism.

All these messages are aimed at dismantling scepticism in the EU about China’s promises to open its markets, as well as suspicions that Beijing is trying to divide the world’s largest trading bloc by strengthening its economic influence in Eastern Europe.

An evidence for the better relations at the moment is that the European Union and China agreed on a joint statement on trade and climate issues, something that they failed to achieve before a year at the previous meeting in Brussels. Following the decision made by Donald Trump last year to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, China and the European Union have emerged as the biggest defenders of the 2015 agreement, which aims to limit the increase in global temperature “well below” 2 degrees Celsius.