The government of China released its first policy paper on the European Union (EU) in October 2003, outlining potential areas of bilateral cooperation. In April 2014, China released an update on the relationship called: "Deepen the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit and Win-win Cooperation."
Over the past decade since the release of China's first policy paper on the European Union (EU) by the Chinese government in October 2003, the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has made important headway. Guided by the annual China-EU Summit and focusing on the three pillars of political, economic and people-to-people exchanges, China and the EU have promoted all-dimensional, multi-tiered and wide-ranging cooperation to deepen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. China is the EU's second largest trading partner. The EU has been China's top trading partner for 10 years. The annual trade volume has exceeded 550 billion US dollars and there have been over 5 million visits between the two sides each year. China and the EU have worked together to tackle the international financial crisis and advance global governance reform, stepped up communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, and contributed significantly to world peace, development and cooperation. The first China's EU Policy Paper, which has been implemented effectively, has played an important role in guiding the development of China-EU relations.
At a crucial moment when the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership enters its second decade, the Chinese government releases its second EU policy paper to define its EU policy objectives in the new era, draw a blueprint for China-EU cooperation in the next 5 to 10 years and facilitate greater progress in China-EU relations based on a review of the achievements in China-EU relations in the past decade and in the context of international and domestic developments.