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EU, China making an impact

By Herman Van Rompuy | China Daily | Updated: 2012-09-20 07:51

When Premier Wen Jiabao hosted the first EU-China Summit in October 2003, the European Union counted 15 member states, the euro had been in circulation for just more than one year and I was a member of the Chamber of Representatives in the Belgian Federal Parliament. At that time China was the EU's sixth largest trading partner with an income per capita of about $1,000 and was continuing its reform process, allowing for the first time private property ownership.

Today, the EU comprises 27 member states, I have become the president of the European Council and one of my responsibilities is to lead the EU and its member states through the first difficult test since the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty. China, on the other hand, has become the EU's second largest trading partner, its per capita income is about $5,400 (2011) and it is on the way to becoming the world's largest economy.

Over the same decade the world has changed significantly too. It has become more complex and less predictable. A decade of global challenges - threats to peace and stability, climate change, mass migration, energy and water security, scarcity of raw materials - have revealed that no single nation can solve alone the many problems that go beyond national borders. Coordinated global answers are needed.

EU, China making an impact

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