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D-CN: Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China

The European Parliament's Delegation for relations with China (D-CN) was established following the first direct European elections in 1979.

From the following year, inter-parliamentary meetings brought together Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and Chinese legislators to discuss issues of mutual interest.

The EU and China
The EU-China relationship centres around the four main pillars of the EU-China Strategic Partnership that the two countries agreed upon in 2013:
  • peace and security
  • prosperity
  • sustainable development
  • people-to-people exchanges.
The delegation concentrates on these aspects of bilateral relations, including political, economic, social, environmental and human rights issues.


The delegation holds frequent meetings in Brussels. These often include exchanges of views on topical issues, with experts invited from the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Commission, academia, the media, civil society and other organisations.

In addition to these discussions, the delegation organises regular - normally semi-annual - inter-parliamentary meetings with Chinese counterparts. The delegation is the Parliament's principal point of contact with China's National
People's Congress and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as with the Legislative Councils of the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and of Macao.

Inter-parliamentary meetings typically are held alternatively in China and in Europe.

When in China, the Delegation usually meets in Beijing and in a city or province outside the capital. Sessions last for a total of five to six hours. Recurring themes include international and regional security issues, pending legislation, climate change, market access and human rights.

In both China and Europe, the delegation meets with a variety of stakeholders, including representatives of the government, media, non-governmental organisations and civil society.


The Delegation counts 37 full members, making it one of the Parliament's largest. Full Members are supported by 34 substitute Members. All are nominated by the European Parliament's political groups, with the political makeup of the delegation mirroring that of Parliament as a whole.

The chair of the delegation in the 8th legislative term was Jo Leinen, a German Member of the European Parliament's Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. He was supported by two vice-chairs: Reinhard Bütikofer (Greens, DE) and Frank Engel (EPP, LU).