At the end of the 9th Helsinki Summit in 2006, the EU and China decided in 2007 to launch negotiations on a CPA that will “reflect the full breadth and depth of today`s global EU-China strategic partnership… All of their bilateral relations, including strengthening cooperation on political issues.  Given the establishment of a “strategic partnership” and the growing scope of cooperation between the EU and China, it is desirable that both sides base their relations on a broader regulatory framework. Both sides were therefore optimistic that positive outcomes would be achieved in the negotiations. But despite the dynamism at the beginning and much of the discussions that ended in 2009, the negotiations have been less easy and stalled for years. Secondly, China has different preferences vis-à-vis the EU. China`s approach to the CPA negotiations focuses primarily on trade issues and China is trying to separate trade and economic issues from the political agreement. China`s approach therefore involves the conclusion of two agreements, the APC and an updated TecA, with the content of the TECA included in the CPA chapters.  But this will face opposition from the EU, even if China manages to convince the EU to negotiate separate agreements on trade and political issues, there will be huge obstacles in both areas. On trade and economic issues, China focuses on “EU anti-dumping measures, anti-subsidy measures, security measures, OBT (technical barrier to trade) and other restrictions.”  China, in particular, wants the EU to recognise its market economy (ESM) status and lift the arms embargo, which China deems unfair, but that the EU opposes.
The EU refuses to grant the ESM to China for political reasons and the high trade deficit with China. The lifting of the arms embargo has also attracted strong opposition from the EU (particularly the European Parliament) on human rights grounds. As far as the political field is concerned, China is very concerned about the “sovereignty issue” concerning Taiwan, Tibet and Xijiang, regards it as China`s internal affairs and tries to avoid giving the EU a basis for interfering in these issues. For this reason, China is calling for the inclusion of the “One China” principle and the “five principles of peaceful coexistence” in the agreement. However, the EU will stress the principle of democracy, human rights and the rule of law as a fundamental principle of its bilateral relations with China.