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China

From China’s climate commitments to action

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A Chinese worker installs solar panels at a photovoltaic power station in Lianyungang city, Jiangsu Province, China, 15 May 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Oriental Image).

Author: ZhongXiang Zhang, Tianjin University

As the world’s largest carbon emitter, China has a crucial role in the reduction of global carbon emissions through its own commitment and its collective international engagement. Fortunately, in the past decade, China has shifted its stance on international climate negotiations and is making significant commitments to global governance addressing climate change.

Before the Copenhagen UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) in 2009, China pledged to cut its carbon intensity — its emissions per unit of GDP — by 40–45 per cent by 2020 relative to 2005 levels. While this was consistent with China’s longstanding opposition to hard emissions caps on the grounds that limits could restrict economic growth, the pledge marked a turning point in China’s climate policy. It was followed by a commitment at the 2015 Paris UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) to peak absolute emissions and cut intensity levels by 60–65 per cent by 2030.

In September 2020, President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s commitment to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and announced a goal to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. Given the unexpected nature of this announcement it was significant when China’s Central Economic Work Conference made ‘carbon peaking and carbon neutrality’ one of the eight key economic priorities for government in 2021.

These announcements are welcome, but commitment without action is meaningless and the global community is concerned about how China will honour its commitments.

Achieving peak carbon and carbon neutrality will require China to rapidly decarbonise its economic and energy structures. China has established the 1+N framework, which sets out the policies and actions required across economic sectors and in key industries such as energy, industry, transportation, infrastructure and construction. Huge investment in renewable energy, industry retrofitting and new low-carbon or carbon-free technologies is necessary to realise these objectives. Government financing can only cover a small portion. Private capital must close the gap.

China’s national emissions trading scheme (ETS) — launched in July 2021 — establishes a price for carbon in the electricity sector to incentivise investment in low-carbon projects. So far, the price for carbon has remained stable and overall compliance with the scheme is high. But there are significant differences across provinces, particularly measured against the number of entities.

China will need to strengthen its national carbon trading regulations to fully realise the benefits of its price on carbon. It also needs to accelerate the expansion of industries included in the national ETS, diversify market players and increase the variety of tradeable market instruments to deepen market liquidity. The Chinese government should prioritise the inclusion of the steel, cement and aluminium industries in the national carbon market. The petrochemical, chemical, building materials, nonferrous metals, papermaking and aviation industries should be included in the next five years. That will incentivise energy-saving and least-cost carbon abatement.

Because climate change is a collective action problem international cooperation is required to meet the global average temperature targets outlined in the Paris Agreement. If China fulfils its carbon neutrality commitment it could reduce global average temperature rises above pre-industrial levels by 0.16 to 0.30 degrees Celsius. This would greatly improve the chances of achieving the Paris Agreement’s 2 degree target with China’s commitment to climate action having the single largest impact of any country.

Cooperation with the United States — the world’s second-largest emitter after China — is also crucial to fulfilling global agreements. China and the United States issued the US–China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s. The two countries outlined that they will cooperate on regulatory frameworks and environmental standards, clean energy transition, decarbonisation and electrification of end-use sectors, carbon capture, utilisation and storage technologies and increased action to control and reduce methane emissions. Such statements have enhanced the two countries’ commitments to climate action and their follow-through on meeting the Paris Agreement.

China also has a crucial role in helping developing countries to meet their climate ambitions. Developing countries are required to make contributions to global efforts but are not supported…

Read the rest of this article on East Asia Forum

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A Timeline of EU-China Relations Post-2024 European Elections

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EU-China relations are crucial in global business, with geopolitical shifts and technological competition shaping the dynamic. The recent EU Parliament elections have brought a political realignment, leading to a more assertive stance towards China. Strategic discussions and new working groups aim to navigate the evolving relationship.


EU-China relations play a crucial role in the global business landscape. The current circumstances, marked by geopolitical shifts, economic interdependence, and technological competition, contribute to the volatility and frequent adjustments in this relationship. In this timeline, we aim to capture key milestones and developments that shape EU-China ties.

The European Parliament elections, held between June 6 and June 9, 2024, have ushered in a new era for EU-China relations. The election results revealed a significant shift in the political landscape, with centrist parties losing ground to far-right groups like the Identity and Democracy (ID) and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). This political realignment is poised to influence the EU’s approach to China, introducing more varied and potentially conflicting perspectives on policy.

Traditionally, the EU has maintained a cautious stance toward China, epitomized by the 2019 publication of the EU-China Strategic Outlook, which framed the relationship as one of “partnership, competition, and systemic rivalry.” This tripartite approach was later reiterated in the European Council’s Conclusion on China. However, the narrative toward China has taken a decisive turn with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s speech delivered on March 30, 2023. This speech marked a shift towards a more assertive stance, further strengthened by the release of the European Economic Security Strategy in June of the same year.

In the aftermath of the 2024 elections, the increased fragmentation within the EU Parliament suggests a more complex and uncertain path to forming a cohesive strategy toward China. This uncertainty poses challenges for European companies conducting business with China, as well as Chinese and global businesses operating in Europe, who must now navigate a more unpredictable regulatory environment.

Amid these developments, the Chinese government is keenly observing the evolving dynamics within the EU. China aims to cultivate allies within the European bloc, and this intent was evident during President Xi Jinping’s recent European tour, which included official visits to France, Serbia, and Hungary. During his visit, President Xi reiterated the EU’s significance as China’s major trading partner.

As the new EU Parliament begins its work, strategic discussions have been underway to address key issues, including the EU’s technological and strategic autonomy. To manage different views and promote collaboration on shared interests with China, new cross-regional working groups have been established. These groups are focusing on sectors such as agriculture, aviation, artificial intelligence, energy, and finance, aiming to enhance resilience and foster dialogue.

In this article, we present a timeline of EU-China relations following the EU Parliament elections, reflecting the complexities and opportunities presented by this new chapter in bilateral relations.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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Economic Update: Consumption and Trade in China See Strong Recovery Despite Decrease in Industrial Output by May 2024

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Industrial output growth in China has slowed, with robust performance in some manufacturing sectors but an increase in consumption driven by services, retail sales, and imports. Despite a slowdown, equipment manufacturing has been crucial in stabilizing overall industrial growth. Certain high-tech and electronic equipment manufacturing sectors have shown strong performance, while the automobile manufacturing sector has decelerated due to falling domestic demand.


The data indicates a slowdown in industrial output growth, despite some manufacturing sectors still showing robust performance. In contrast, consumption is on the rise, driven by growth in services, retail sales, and imports. The uptick in these areas suggests a strengthening of domestic demand, spurred by a stabilizing global economic situation and the boost from the Labor Day Holiday at the beginning of May.

China’s foreign trade also continued to show marked improvement, reflecting the country’s strong export capabilities and increasing imports.

Year-on-year growth in China’s industrial sector slowed in May from the previous month but remained relatively strong. Total industrial value-added output grew by 5.6 percent year-on-year in May, a month-on-month increase of 0.3 percent but a deceleration from 6.7 percent year-on-year growth recorded in April. Value-added output of the manufacturing industry grew 6 percent year-on-year, a deceleration from the 7.5 percent year-on-year in April.

According to NBS spokesperson Liu Aihua, equipment manufacturing played a crucial role in stabilizing overall industrial growth. The sector’s added value increased by 7.5 percent from the previous year, contributing 2.6 percentage points to the growth of all industries above the designated size and accounting for 45.7 percent of the total growth. Within this sector:

Certain high-tech and electronic equipment manufacturing sectors exhibited particularly strong performance:

However, the automobile manufacturing sector decelerated significantly from a 16.3 percent year-on-year jump in April to 7.6 percent year-on-year growth in May, possibly due to falling domestic demand.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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Outlook for China’s Wine Market: Current Trends and Opportunities

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China’s wine market faces challenges like declining consumption and imports, but remains resilient. Adapting to consumer preferences, focusing on quality and sustainability, and using digital platforms for sales are key strategies. Despite setbacks, the market is promising for foreign producers.


Despite challenges such as declining consumption and import figures, China’s wine market remains resilient and promising. Strategic adaptation to evolving consumer preferences, emphasis on quality and sustainability, and leveraging digital platforms for sales are pivotal strategies for success in this dynamic and competitive landscape.

In recent years, China’s wine market has faced significant challenges marked by declines in key metrics such as consumption, imports, and domestic production. These difficulties were further compounded by the disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these setbacks, the market retains its allure, presenting opportunities for foreign wine producers and exporters who are willing to adapt and strategically engage.

As consumer preferences evolve and government policies increasingly emphasize quality and sustainability, understanding these complexities becomes crucial for stakeholders navigating China’s evolving wine landscape. By staying attuned to shifting trends and regulatory developments, stakeholders can position themselves effectively to capitalize on the market’s enduring potential.

The wine sector in China has experienced dramatic shifts over the last two decades, initially reflecting rapid growth and then gradually declining. In the early 2000s, China emerged as a lucrative market for global wineries seeking expansion due to soaring wine imports driven by rising consumer wealth and the perception of wine as a symbol of sophistication. However, per capita consumption peaked around 2012, and imports have since plateaued, with recent years showing significant market contraction. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these challenges, particularly affecting wine sales due to its association with social gatherings, which were restricted during lockdowns.

Following this trend, in 2023, China saw a significant decline in wine consumption, with a 24.7 percent decrease compared to 2022. According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), China’s wine consumption has been falling since 2018, averaging a loss of 2 million hectoliters annually.

Nevertheless, China remains the ninth-largest wine-consuming nation worldwide.

Looking forward to 2024, China’s wine market is poised for dynamic activity, delineated primarily by consumption settings: at-home and out-of-home. According to Statista, revenue from wine sales in supermarkets and convenience stores (at-home) is forecast to reach US$9.7 billion. In contrast, revenue generated from wine consumed in restaurants and bars (out-of-home) is expected to be substantially higher, totaling US$17.2 billion. This projects the total revenue from the wine market to reach US$26.8 billion by the end of 2024.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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