This is because China holds the key for regional cooperation and integration in East Asia. Thus, facilitating the projection of the EU's soft power to East Asia could become a priority for the new EU member states.
The policy of the EU towards China is a multilevel engagement policy. Furthermore, it is a mixture of bilateral and multilateral approaches.2 This partnership is not strategic in the military sense. Yet, the issue of the lifting of the European arms embargo against China indicates that hard security issues have entered EU-China affairs. The Premier of the State Council of the PR China, Wen Jiabao, has coined the term 'comprehensive strategic partnership'. Wen defines the term in the following way: "By "comprehensive", it means that the cooperation should be all-dimensional, wide-ranging and multi-layered. It covers economic, scientific, technological, political and cultural fields, contains both bilateral and multilateral levels, and is conducted by both governments and non-governmental groups. By "strategic", it means that the cooperation should be long-term and stable, bearing on the larger picture of China-EU relations. It transcends the differences in ideology and social system and is not subjected to the impacts of individual events that occur from time to time. By "partnership", it means that the cooperation should be equal-footed, mutually beneficial and win-win. ...Show more