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History of the Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China (D-CN)

EU relations with China were formally established in 1975. After the first direct elections for the European Parliament were held in 1979, the Parliament established its Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China (D-CN).

The main task of the delegation is to develop links with China's National People's Congress (NPC), including through inter-parliamentary meetings. Formal EU-China inter-parliamentary meetings have been held since 1980.

The delegation also serves as the Parliament's main point of contact for the Legislative Councils of the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Finally, the EU Chamber of Commerce in China is in regular contact with the delegation, as are representatives of the Chinese Mission to the EU, European diplomats and academics.

The EU-China relationship

The EU and China agreed on a "Strategic Partnership" in 2013. This defined four areas of focus: peace and security, prosperity, sustainable development, and people-to-people exchanges.

The economic stakes of the relationship are huge: the EU is China's biggest trading partner, while China is the EU's second-largest trading partner.

The two partners hold annual summits, as well as regular political, trade and economic dialogues. There are more than 60 thematic dialogues held with senior officials.


In the Parliament's seventh legislative term, which ran from 2009 to 2014, the delegation visited Hubei, Sichuan, Guangdong and Guangxi provinces, as well as Beijing, Hong Kong and Macao.

In addition to the Chinese visitors who attended inter-parliamentary meetings in Europe, the delegation welcomed a number of high-level officials, including
  • the Chinese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • a delegation from the Party School of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party
  • the President of China (in 2014).

Since 2014
During the Parliament's current, eighth term, visitors to the European Parliament have included:

  • Mr LI Jinjun, Vice-Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party Central Committee (5 November 2014, Brussels),
  • a delegation of Tibetan Deputies from the National People's Congress (3 December 2015, Brussels),
  • Mr Qiangba Puncog, Vice-Chairman of the National People's Congress (3 May 2016, Brussels).
  • A delegation of four Members of the National People's Congress, led by Mr. Xiaochu WANG, Vice-Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NPC, for the 40th inter-parliamentary meeting (15 and 16 November 2017, Strasbourg)

The Parliament's China delegation has also travelled several times to meet counterparts in China:

  • in April 2015 the delegation's Chair and Vice-Chairs visited Beijing and Hong Kong,
  • in July 2015, Members of the delegation went to Beijing and Shenyang for the 37th EU-China inter-parliamentary meeting, and
  • in May 2016, Members of the delegation went to Beijing and Chengdu for the 39th EU-China inter-parliamentary meeting.
  • the 41st EU-China inter-parliamentary meeting was held in May 2018 in Beijing.