Category: Global Governance

EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment: Stakes for a constructive balance of power

By Philippe Coste, Pierre-Noël Giraud, Stéphane Gompertz, Henri de Grossouvre, Fatima Hadj, Brice Lalonde, François Loos, François Quentin, Joël Ruet, Raphaël Schoentgen, Alex Wang, avec Clarisse Comte et Claire Thomas.

After seven years of negotiations, the European Union and China reached an investment agreement on December 30, 2020. While Beijing sees in it the promotion of a “high degree of openness”, the EU aspires through this treaty to establish the long sought after “equality of market conditions”.

To carry out this project, a balance between the strategic interests of each side and common objectives on which to agree remains to be found… just as it remains to find avenues for concrete action.

Find the analysis note in French :2021-03-Issue-Brief-UE-CHINETélécharger

• This treaty provides for the intensification of economic and trade relations between the EU and China. It guarantees EU investors greater access to China and also helps to create more balanced conditions of competition.

• Areas of collaboration are proposed here, in various fileds : political (place of China in international organizations, global governance), legal (international standards, ESG), industrial (mobility, decarbonisation, role of SMEs), economic, environmental, scientific , technological (energy transition, carbon capture, hydrogen, nuclear, new energies), financial (coordinated introduction of carbon prices) and cultural.

• For the EU, it is above all a matter of asserting its strategic interests in a coordinated manner with the member countries during the ratification process.

The long-term issues of technological sovereignty, of competition between blocs, all possible causes of “stop and go” in bilateral relations must be seriously dealt with.

Despite the identified obstacles, maintaining an open but precise dialogue between the EU and China is essential. The European Union must continue its transformation and ensure respect for its increase in diplomatic power both within the EU and in its relationship with China: beyond state-to-state relations, it is up to the EU in as a community to negotiate the terms of a new bilateral relationship with China. It is in this way that it will confirm its status as a “balancing power”.

The Organization for the Development of the Senegal River Basin (OMVS) will be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize

On 12th March 2021, in Kayes, Mali, our Board Member Hamed Semega, announced the Senegal River basin organization (OMVS) will run for the Peace Nobel Prize. OMVS, an international organization under Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, today celebrates its 49th anniversary. Heading towards 50, and ahead of the upcoming Word Water Forum, the 4 states realize the OMVS has been a factor of peace, stability and development in the region. Just as IPCC got the Prize on climate change mitigation, we wish the OMVS will get the prize for huge climate adaptation efforts it does on top of peace.

Signing of the investment agreement between the EU and China

Ambassador Sylvie Bermann and our chairman Joel Ruet exchanged notes on Chinese TV on the EU-China investment agreement; noting that it not only concludes 7 years of negotiations but also of seeing on both sides the emergence of a different vision of the world. While many issues remain to be finetuned, ambassador Bermann recalled the agreement answers queries made by the EU and follow a European approach on the economy

China “Two Sessions” : the Bridge Tank co-organizes the Think Tank & Media Forum on Global Economic Development

A Forum on Global Economic Development on the occasion of the Two Sessions in Beijing

Together with its Chinese partners, the China International Publishing Group and the China Institute for Innovation & Development Strategy, as well as the Prospective & Innovation Foundation, the Bridge Tank co-organized on March 8 a hybrid Forum on the sidelines of the Two Sessions.

On this occasion, Joël Ruet spoke alongside Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of Commerce in China and vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, Cai Jiming, deputy at the People’s National Assembly and director of the Central Committee of the China Association for Promoting Democracy, and Zhang Yuyan, member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics.

Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former Prime Minister of France, opened this webinar alongside four Chinese vice-ministers and the deputy speaker of the House of Representative of Argentina. For almost three hours, representatives of more than ten countries, ranging from Russia to India, from Brazil to South Africa, explored new avenues of thoughts, in particular in favor of multilateral cooperation, global economic recovery supported by innovation and reform of global economic governance. The role of international think tanks in building platforms for dialogue was highlighted, and presented as an essential strength in building a community on a humanity scale.

Chinese media articles China Today, China.org, China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy covered this event in particular.

Opening of the Forum by Jean-Pierre Raffarin: against the temptation of isolationism, an international cooperation based on innovation

In his remarks, the former French Prime Minister said that sharing of experiences and mutual understanding were essential to achieve peaceful development, a common goal for all countries. As a global crisis exacerbates the need for a coordinated response to global challenges, he stressed the dangers of a temptation to unilateralism and protectionism. Emphasizing the role of innovation, he argued that each country should actively conduct international cooperation while safeguarding its own sovereignty. He mentioned in particular the fight against climate change, referring to the joint efforts of France and China, a strong signal in favor of a global consensus for green development.

From crisis to opportunity for renewal, according to Chinese speakers Wei Jianguo, Zhang Yuyan and Cai Jiming

Former vice-minister of Commerce Wei Jianguo said China’s “dual circulation”, a pillar of the 14th Five-Year Plan launched at the same time, will bring new opportunities for global economic development. According to him, beyond the crisis it is going through, the world is entering a new era of globalization, where China must play a crucial role.

But experts have set it against a less optimistic scenario, warning of current systemic risks threatening the global economy, such as inflation, the symptoms of which – sharply rising commodity prices – are already visible. Inflation and climate change therefore emerged as two challenges of common interest to be tackled together.

Zhang Yuyan called for renewed international cooperation, which involves working together on the issue of global governance. Indeed, discussions remain to be conducted, and this responsibility falls to the great world powers, which must find the right balance between strategic autonomy and common interests.

Cai Jiming emphasized the importance of building a fair and sustainable world trading system, based on the notion of comparative interest in the international division of labor, firmly opposing isolationist tendencies that threaten the balance of world trade.

China’s commitment in Global Security and Sino-European Cooperation : Joël Ruet’s Intervention

Joël Ruet, chairman of the Bridge Tank, said China must adopt more multilateral ways to clarify its position in the security issue and create a stable external environment. Speakers also agreed on the idea that China should play a role commensurate with its economic weight in global governance.

He referred to the pre-investment Agreement concluded between China and the EU, symbol of the opportunities that can emerge from a crisis, while warning of two priorities that should not be overlooked. Indeed, he targeted two areas where Sino-European cooperation is fundamental : the environment, where the ambitious words of the heads of state must be implemented through acts in the perspective of the COP26, and industrial cooperation, that the European and Chinese industries and businesses see as very promising.

The take of The Bridge Tank on the 2021 Two Sessions – “Dual circulation”, high-quality development, disappointing environmental objectives…

 

The Two Sessions designates the two annual plenary meetings of the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. After a year of pandemic which had postponed this meeting in May 2020, the Chinese leaders were keen this year to launch it on March 5, as if to embody the exemplary resilience of the country and the regained normality of the regime’s institutions. Plus, it is marked by the launch of the 14th Five-Year Plan 2021-2025 and the 100 years anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. 

Among the highlights of this event, Prime Minister Li Keqiang has set a growth target of 6% for 2021. This moderate figure shows that the priority will be less focused on an attractive GDP – the IMF is banking on an 8% recovery – than on stable growth in a context of uncertainty, and on three pillars: “reform, innovation, and high quality development”. Also, the budget allocated to research and development will increase by more than 7% per year over the next five years, to achieve breakthroughs in future technologies and allow China to gain strategic autonomy. Another priority of the regime is to upgrade the supply chain and to promote domestic consumption, especially in the automotive and household appliances sector.

In fact, both the Two Sessions and the 14th Five-Year Plan have as a common thread the development paradigm of “dual circulation”. This notion denotes a two-pronged development strategy that requires both internal and external market support to stimulate long-term consumption patterns. The domestic cycle is particularly emphasized while it is complemented by an international cycle, with foreign trade and investments abroad. This objective of betting on the huge Chinese domestic market is rooted in a desire to hedge against external shocks, in the context of rising diplomatic tensions and instability in the world economy.

Li Keqiang also stopped on the environmental issue: he called for the promotion of the greening of lifestyles and production. For example, one of the targets for 2021 is to achieve a rate of 70% for the use of clean energy for heating. The 14th Plan calls for China to reduce its energy consumption per unit of GDP by 13.5% and CO2 emissions by 18%. Yet the experts say that the objectives mentioned do not represent a real acceleration to achieve the carbon neutrality expected in 2060, for lack of concrete means. For example, the Double Assembly as well as the 14th Five-Year Plan introduced the idea of ​​a “cap on CO2 emissions”, without actually setting one. While it is encouraging that a component dealing with climate change is for the first time adopted in a national-level plan, these initial environmental indications are therefore often perceived as ambiguous, even disappointing.

Minister Brice Lalonde and former UN deputy SG discusses ecological transition with the Bridge Tank

Brice Lalonde, who served as French Minister for the Environment, UN Under-Secretary-General for Climate, and Executive Coordinator at Rio+20, detailed the major issues at stake around the ecological transition around which powers must engage in a new cycle of technological cooperation.

Prospects for Sino-European cooperation

The former minister recalled that the electrification of our economies is key for the transition, requiring the deployment and improvement of techniques such as batteries, electrolysers, and more broadly raising the question of large-scale electricity production. Brice Lalonde believes that it is in this context that nuclear energy is most relevant and should be subject to technological exchange. He recalled, by way of example, the previous signing of a France-China agreement on the construction of a nuclear waste reprocessing plant.
The speaker also mentioned several times the prospect of future use of synthetic fuels, which consist in capturing and reusing the carbon dioxide initially emitted as energy. Brice Lalonde thus insisted on the distinction between present and future energy resources, illustrating his point with the example of water, which should become a strategic resource because of the technology of water electrolysis, allowing for the production of hydrogen.
Finally, the former minister addressed the research issues surrounding carbon fixation, in the form of artificial photosynthesis or through the sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2), on which China and the EU must also work together.

Global governance and the future of international trade

On the other hand, and apart from Sino-European relations alone, Brice Lalonde more broadly presented the lack of international cooperation on ecological issues as the main shortcoming preventing the deployment of the ecological transition on a large scale. In his opinion, a paradigm shift is necessary consisting in the establishment of a minimum of global governance on these subjects, in contrast to the current configuration where sovereign climate programmes are simply added together, without any supranational dimension. He believes that we lack major international cooperation agreements, concerning gas for example, where the gas industry should have coordinated to finance the transition of coal-based economies to gas, which emits much less CO2. It therefore seems crucial to him to revitalise multilateralism, in order to carry out projects such as the establishment of a common carbon market on an international scale.

Finally, on the subject of international trade, the former Environment Minister was able to oppose a shared opinion that would like to present it as an outdated practice in a world seeking to achieve carbon neutrality. On the contrary, Brice Lalonde stated that trade can be ecological. “We absolutely need trade. Trade can be a very powerful ally for the environment,” he said. To do so, trade rules should no longer focus solely on finished products, but also on production standards (i.e. regulating production-related greenhouse gas emissions). From this point of view, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) still has its place in the world of tomorrow. The WTO has already accepted the primacy of environmental law in prior cases, when this law is enshrined in international agreements. In the future, states could thus theoretically take advantage of international ecological agreements imposing production standards in order to block imports from countries that violate them.

Lalonde was one of the keynote speakers of the Bridge Tank’s forum on the post-COVID-19 EU-China cooperation. He took part in a panel entitled « Green development or ecological civilisation? », which was moderated by Wen Cui-Pottier, former journalist of the Shangai Media Group. This forum took place in the Brongniart Palace in Paris on the 15th of October 2020.The other speakers of this session were Nicolas Imbert, Executive Director of Green Cross France & Territoires and two members of the Bridge Tank’s board : Guillaume Henry, President of the Association of the Ecological Analysis of Law, and Zhao Wei, researcher at Sun Yatsen’s University.

Minister Edmond Alphandéry exchanges with Bridge Tank experts about carbon pricing

Edmond Alphandéry, former French Minister of the Economy and Chairman of the Task Force on Carbon Pricing, gave a long explanation of his vision of the place and importance of carbon pricing in the ecological transition, and highlighted the decisiveness of this measure in order to achieve the objective of carbon neutrality, within the framework of the Paris agreement.

Carbon pricing: an essential tool for the ecological transition

Minister Alphandery began by reminding us of the scale of the challenge posed by global warming and the complexity of the issues at stake : given that we emit 40 billion tons of CO2 each year, he explained that if we reasonably assume that the price of a ton of CO2 should be set at around 100€ (according to the main evaluations), then a carbon pricing system would cost €4,000 billion each year, which amounts to Germany’s Gross National Product (GNP).

In this context, the former minister sees carbon pricing as central to the fight against global warming. His explanation is simple: when carbon has a price, all economic agents (households, companies, the State) are encouraged to reduce their emissions, or even to stop them or to find alternatives, in order to reduce their expenses.
The speaker specified that there are two solutions currently applicable and applied in order to put a price on carbon. The first is a carbon tax, which is simple and effective, but politically difficult to implement and whose adjustment is complex. The second is the introduction of a carbon market, where emission permits are issued according to the total volume of emissions desired. Permits are bought by market participants in proportion of what they emit, and their price is defined by supply and demand.
According to the chairman of the Task Force on Carbon Pricing, the tautological advantage of the carbon market is that it is a market, and that it therefore encourages innovation and the adoption of virtuous behaviour by agents in order to resell their permits (see the example of Tesla in the United States). However, it has the disadvantage of being characterised by a high volatility of carbon pricing.
It is this last reason that prompted the former minister to chair the Task Force on Carbon Pricing in order to promote among decision-makers a targeting of the price of carbon rather than volumes, as is currently the case. On the European carbon market, for example, he said that this would give stability to a carbon price that had collapsed during the subprime crisis, and also increase visibility.

Against the threat of climate change, China must adopt and extend carbon pricing

Edmond Alphandéry then spoke about the role of China, whose place he considered to be unavoidable regarding these issues. The country’s emissions are indeed higher than those of the United States and Europe combined. In this respect, he pointed out that the Chinese government is aware of the importance of the issues at stake and has already promoted a number of ecological transition measures. For instance, he stated that there is already a carbon pricing system in China, even if the price remains largely insufficient for now and is limited to the energy sector.
The former minister also stated that, in his view, there is a real Chinese will to carry out reforms. He particularly welcomed the initiatives and discussions that are taking place between various European and Chinese personalities, discussions in which he himself took part, in order to defend a convergence of the carbon prices of the two powers.
For Edmond Alphandéry, if such a reform was promoted, it would be no less than a revolution in the fight against global warming.

In conclusion, the panelist made a proposal to the Chinese authorities regarding their major strategic programme that is the BRI. As the government increases energy investments, especially aimed at thermal power plants, Edmond Alphandéry would consider it relevant and effective to introduce an internal carbon price in the companies and industries financed by Chinese funds. This would simulate a carbon price and thus encourage decarbonisation, while sending a strong message to the international community by underlining the importance that China attaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Edmond Alphandéry said he would be ready to support such an initiative immediately.

Alphandery was one of the main speakers at the Bridge Tank forum on EU-China cooperation post-Covid-19.
He participated in a panel moderated by Philippe Coste, former French ambassador, on greening investment in the European Union (EU) and China, and on the challenges of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). The forum took place at the Palais Brongniart in Paris on 15 October 2020. Other speakers in this session were Pierre-Noël Giraud, Professor of Economics at the Ecole des Mines de Paris, Djellil Bouzidi, member of the Haute Autorité de la Statistique and of the Bridge Tank’s Board, and Song Luzheng from Fudan University.

Exchange on the role of culture in international relations between Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO and the experts of the Bridge Tank

The first woman elected as Director-General of UNESCO, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Bulgaria in 1996, and former Bulgarian ambassador to France, Irina BOKOVA is a passionate politician, who shares the values ​​of openness and dialogue with the Bridge Tank. During her career, she became involved in international efforts in favor of equality between women and men, education for all and access to culture. Among her many fields of action, scientific cooperation for sustainable development is particularly close to her heart. She has also pleaded for Bulgaria’s membership of the EU and NATO, and continues to campaign for European integration by promoting the values ​​of diversity and human rights.

Irina Bokova, Board member of the Bridge Tank and co-organizer of the EU-China post-covid Cooperation Forum

From the opening session, the former Director-General of UNESCO recalled that Sino-European cooperation should take into account a human and cultural aspect, like said in the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, which will allow a constructive link in the economic, political, security and environmental fields.

She gave a more “UN” dimension to the debates, to reflect on multilateralism, globalism and the climate, in which China and the EU are key actors. Dialogue between these two powers is therefore essential to build a more inclusive, sustainable and multilateral post-covid world and reform the multilateral system, as she said in the Forum on January 21. Irina Bokova insisted on the growing role of China in this project : she recalled President Xi Jinping’s carbon neutrality commitments by 2060, the central place of China in the recovery of global activity, as well as Beijing’s role in integrating culture and science into the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

What post-covid human exchanges?

Irina Bokova federated the debates around the question of human exchanges, be they cultural, educational or scientific in the development of a vision of the future. This essential theme must be part of the wider debate on geopolitical issues and ecological transitions. The former Minister of Foreign Affairs affirmed that there is a convergence in the thoughts on this aspect of cooperation between the EU and China, which are two great cultural powers. It is therefore an essential aspect of the current debate on the refocusing of Sino-European relations, all the more crucial as China has invested heavily in the areas of culture and identity in recent years.

Indeed, Xi Jinping has revived a major UNESCO project, the Silk Road, by giving real importance to heritage, cultural and identity issues. The new Silk Roads, beyond trade flows, must play a role in building intercultural bridges. In addition, China now ranks first on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This sector is an integral part of its economy, showing the world that culture and its industries can play a significant role in the growth and trade of a country.

The digitalization of cultural exchanges

Irina Bokova dwelled on the place and dangers of digital in the promotion of culture. With its ability to create bridges between societies, it has enormous potential, to such an extent that the United Nations will soon adopt measures that makes access to digital a human right. However, she warned of the worrying risks associated with technology : it tends to standardize and erase diversity and threatens to fragment societies by creating isolation and alienation in communities.

On the condition therefore of being part of an ethical approach at the service of humanity, technologies remain a space of extraordinary creativity and an unparalleled connection platform, making it possible to link museums to the digital world by arousing curiosity about cultural projects. The former director of UNESCO concluded that a nation never awakens without curiosity for its culture, something that China understood well when it completed in seven years the construction of 5 000 museums, and for the culture of the others, pillar of all cooperation and bulwark against intolerance.

 

Irina Bokova is a Bridge Tank’s Board Member, which regularly shares her thoughts and expertise. She notably co-organized and opened the post-Covid EU-China Cooperation Forum alongside Joël Ruet, President of the Bridge Tank and Sylvie Bermann, French Ambassador to China.

On October 15, 2020, this “hybrid” Forum brought together four former ministers, five former ambassadors and around thirty experts at the Palais Brongiart in Paris, as well as around a hundred registrants on three continents, to share nourished, informed and precise on economic, industrial, social and cultural questions on the EU-China relationship.

Exchange with Minister Brune Poirson on EU’s Economic package, energy and ecological transitions in China and Europe

Brune Poirson, a Vice-President of the United Nations Environment Assembly and former Secretary of State to the French Minister of Ecological Transition and Solidarity of Emmanuel Macron, came to bring her expertise in a conversation with the Bridge Tank.

She highlighted the importance of dynamics such as the 2015 Paris Agreement, the Chinese government’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2060, as well as the European Commission’s Green Deal and the Belt and Road Initiative. She argued that these initiatives would help develop global governance that include more trade with and between developing countries.

China: a natural ally for Europe for climate

She supported the importance of engaging with China and said that she “never misses an opportunity to engage in dialogue and mutual understanding with China.” She stressed the importance of  respecting the Paris Agreement. She also referred to the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement, a delicate situation for France and Europe, which had to adapt and find other allies. China met the requirements of the emergency and “proved to be a natural ally on these issues. “Brune Poirson drew attention to the “very strong symbolic act” of China’s commitment, which does not have the same way of building and implementing public policies as the EU.

Moreover, these strong trends were accentuated during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted US protectionism. This has allowed Europe to accelerate its vision, on environment being a tool of power and might for the European Union. In particular with the Green Deal, which was then transformed into a recovery plan. The Green Deal responds to a vision of the world including trade with other areas, clear territorial missions existing on both sides, and it responds to a common vision of the EU and China. The European Commission’s Green Deal is financed by the recovery plans (with the support of the EIB), while China uses the Belt & Road Initiative, financed by government-to-government loans, export banks (China Development Bank), or multilateral banks (AIIB).

The European Heads of State will have to respond to these ambition tests at the next European Council and will then have to prove their commitment by raising the CO2 reduction targets. The People’s Republic of China, organizer of the COP15-Biodiversity, will have to show its capacity to engage third parties in international cooperation (in particular ASEAN on forestry issues).

A strategic panorama that hides massive and common challenges of energy transition

Also present at the Forum were the following personalities: Ding Yifan, researcher at the Institute of Global Development of the Development Research Centre of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, and Thomas Melonio, Executive Director of Innovation, Research and Knowledge at the French Development Agency. They spoke in the session “Restart, energy and ecological transitions in China and Europe”, moderated by Raphaël Schoentgen, former CTO and member of the executive committee of ENGIE and former president of Hydrogen Europe.

In addition to Brune Poirson’s remarks, Ding Yifan argued that decarbonisation of Chinese energy production was a key element in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but that it also required the transformation of the economy in several Chinese regions. Significant Chinese investment is being made to encourage the transition to hydrogen, and this is an area where cooperation between the EU and China could be beneficial to both sides. Thomas Melonio argued that it was crucial that Africa be included in the new cooperation agreements, especially as the Chinese and European development banks have the same objectives regarding Africa.

Brune Poirson, Ding Yigan and Thomas Melonio spoke at the Forum on China-Europe Relations and the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This forum took place at the Palais Brongniart on 15 October 2020.

Intervention of François Loos, former Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade, at the Bridge Tank about the shared visions of future between the EU and China

As an experienced practitioner in the world of industry and international trade, François Loos argues for the necessary restructuring of EU-China relations, by submitting the idea that the Chinese resilience shows the way for a recovery in global activity

An alumni of Ecole Polytechnique, a high civil servant from Ecole des Mines by training, François Loos is also a committed politician, who was a Member of Parliament for Bas-Rhin, regional councilor for Alsace and Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade in the Villepin and Raffarin governments under the Chirac presidency.

In support of a united Europe

During his speech on post-covid globalization, François Loos explained that the EU-China relationship is hampered by bilateral relations instead of responding to a community approach. EU countries need to be coordinated and consistent with China. Indeed, the lack of EU unity is a dangerous handicap, as illustrated by the example of photovoltaic production in Europe threatened by Chinese imports. He highlighted the flaws in the European mode of governance, based on the will of consumer countries and on a majority decision-making system incapable of combating dumping or of speaking with one voice in the WTO.

Between the search for independence and strategic cooperation

COVID has demonstrated to everyone the need to aspire to independence, or non-dependence, from one’s neighbors. For François Loos, this autonomy can only be acquired for the EU on condition that it also has national champions in strategic sectors, in particular in the industry.

However, independence does not exclude cooperation. Far from having been mitigated by the crisis, the weight of China in the world economy has increased and makes the issue of Sino-European cooperation all the more central, as evidenced by the new Sino-European agreements’ negotiations.

This search for national independence is not always strategic according to the former minister : he mentioned the case of “good relocations”, those where the establishment of a company in a foreign country serves the local market. It remains to be seen whether China will accelerate the implementation of the measures planned to encourage Europeans to set up in China on an equal footing with local businesses.

Towards a shared vision of the future

The former minister insisted on the need to combine Chinese and European visions of the future. For that, it is necessary to define the strategic subjects to orient the Sino-European cooperation. Like the EU which was initiated in 1952 by a collaboration on coal and steel, he called for cooperation based on issues of common interest that would found a new type of relationship at the global scale and with China. The subject of raw materials, agricultural and mineral, for example, is a central fulcrum of this cooperation, strategic on both sides in terms of energy and food since China depends on its imports to feed its population.

Likewise, the environment is another necessary subject of cooperation with China, on condition that the issue is not only approached from the perspective of large companies, but rather associated with it, at the local level, the world of small and medium-sized enterprises, cities, communities, which are closer to reality and concrete solutions.

At the EU-China Cooperation Forum held on January 21, 2021, the former minister clarified that these collective visions could not exist without common standards and regulations. It is indeed essential that questions of the environment, energy, raw materials and food have a horizon that can be understood and shared by European countries, the United States and China.

To achieve a precise and open dialogue with China, François Loos recommended organizing international working groups to define these visions of the future, generate a state of trust and move forward together in these specific sectors.

François Loos closely follows the works of the Bridge Tank, notably on the EU-China Cooperation. These views were expressed during the Forum for EU-China post-covid cooperation, organized by the Bridge Tank on October 15, 2020.

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