China and the European Union are gearing up for a summit delayed since last December. The EU says it is aimed at creating a new global order, fighting the global recession, promoting peace and saving the planet. Relations between the two have been strained, particularly by Europe’s criticism of China’s human rights record.
The last summit failed to materialise after Beijing opposed a meeting between the French President and Tibet’s Dalai Lama. The region was the scene of anti-China protests last year. Imports from China have ballooned since the millennium, and although EU exports in the opposite direction are worth 78-billion euros, there is a massive EU deficit, and that has been the source of several trade disputes they are hoping to iron out. EU officials say they’ll push China hard to commit to significant reductions in its CO2 emissions. The Chinese premier Wen Jiabao will be in Prague – a sign of the weight Beijing is according this summit.