China has moved from being a traditional recipient of overseas development assistance to the position of a strategic partner with whom the EU engages on a wide range of policy issues. Increasingly, the country is an important source of aid for other developing countries.
In recent years, China has seen sustained high levels of economic growth. Incomes have risen, the numbers of people in poverty have fallen dramatically, and progress has been made towards the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Considerable disparities of income among China’s 1.3 billion population remain. Serious environmental degradation adds to the population’s vulnerability.
Three main areas of cooperation are detailed in the EU-China Country Strategy Paper (2007-13). The initial €128 million multi-annual indicative programme (2007-10) is:
- supporting EU-China policy dialogues,
- addressing global concerns such as climate change, the environment, and energy, and
- assisting human resources development.