Report: Transformation of China and Global Economic Interdependence

_ European Parliament. Brussles, April 2017. Published for debate.

Saarela Anna. Transformation of China and global economic interdependence. European Parliament. Brussles. 2017. 53 p.

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China is a natural strategic partner for the EU, despite fundamental divergences in some areas, mostly related to state intervention, both in economic and social affairs. Due to growing tensions and geopolitical unpredictability, there is a window of opportunity to develop closer ties between the EU and China. The partnership offers mutually beneficial opportunities, such as comprehensive agreements on investment and on the protection of geographical indications; aviation and maritime cooperation; and dialogues on human rights and legal affairs.

China is navigating a crucial but complex transformation towards more sustainable growth by rebalancing from investment to consumption and from manufacturing to services. Overall, this transition is expected to benefit both China and the world as a whole.

Due to economic interdependence, it is also likely to produce certain spill-over effects that will vary by country and by region. Global integration is fundamental for all economies and no one has an interest in a trade war or protectionism.

Maintaining public ownership as the mainstay of the Chinese economy is not sustainable. Reforms are needed to tackle the root causes of overcapacity in various industrial sectors and the role of state owned enterprises. Domestic concerns, such as lifting millions of people out of poverty and reducing ever-growing income inequalities as well as endemic corruption, need to be addressed.

China now plays a crucial role in global governance, the rules-based international order and meeting commitments made in the G20 framework — achieving ‘major country’ status comes with responsibilities. Beijing has demonstrated some movement in shifting away from the pursuit of narrow national aims towards a more active foreign and security policy and increased global financial, economic and peace cooperation.

At the same time, China has been increasingly assertive in its Asian neighbourhood and it has called for restraint from all sides to prevent rapidly escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula from turning into a disastrous conflict.

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