Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the site of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the People's Republic of China (D-CN). The delegation has 37 full members and 34 substitute members. It is one of the Parliament's largest delegations reflecting the fact that the EU's relationship with China is one of our most significant political and economic relationships.

The EU's predecessor, the European Communities, and the People's Republic of China established official relations in 1975. Today, there are more than 65 sectoral dialogues between the EU and China, including on important bilateral and global issues, such as human rights, climate change and trade and investment.

The 2019 China Strategy of the EU defines the People's Republic of China as a partner, a competitor and a systemic rival. The EU and its Member States find cooperation with China increasingly difficult, but still try, for example in the fight against climate change, for green economies and liveable cities, for environmental protection and biodiversity. The differences between the EU and China are becoming more and more pronounced, especially in the area of human rights, on fair and free trade and mutually beneficial investment conditions, exchanges between civil society actors, science cooperation, and on the country's commitment to the existing multilateral order.

While the economic relations between China and the EU carry particular weight, trade imbalances, unsatisfactory market access regulations and requirements to foreign investors in China that defy the principle of reciprocity. Tensions over forced labour, weaponization of dependencies and economic coercion, China's territorial ambitions in the South and East China Seas, its aggressive stance vis-a-vis Taiwan, China's position regarding Russia's war in Ukraine, as well as sanctions against Members European Parliament and EU institutions have further aggravated tensions in the relationship and led to the assessment of the European Parliament that China becomes a "systemic rival in an increasing number of areas".

The Delegation will seek opportunities, where possible, to promote the parliamentary dimension of the relations, and while doing so takes the European Parliament's own China Report from 2021 as a guiding document. The Delegation will cooperate closely with other bodies in the European Parliament, in particular the parliamentary committees. The delegation will also have exchanges and cooperation with the European Commission and its services, with the European External Action Service, the EU Delegation in Beijing and the EU Office in Hong Kong.

As the China Delegation Chair, I am looking forward to meaningful exchanges between the Delegation and our Chinese counterparts. I intend to keep open interparliamentary channels of communication and to contribute to the bilateral EU-China relations.

Reinhard Bütikofer