The European Commission has adopted a communication outlining the aims and objectives for a new, comprehensive EU-China partnership. This follows up the 1995 communication on a long term policy for Chinese-European relations. The aim of the present communication is to build on the analytical foundations of the 1995 policy, from which many initiatives are well underway, and to intensify and upgrade the strategy taking into account recent significant developments. The communication seeks to lay the ground for a comprehensive partnership based on a set of specific, action-oriented activities. The new EU-China partnership will therefore aim at: - Engaging China further, through an upgraded political dialogue, in the international community; - Supporting China's transition to an open society based upon the rule of law and the respect for human rights; - Integrating China further in the world economy by bringing it more fully into the world trading system and by supporting the process of economic and social reform underway in the country; - Making Europe's funding go further by providing appropriate financial means to implement a comprehensive policy for relations with China; - Raising the profile of the European Union in China. In particular, the EU hopes to develop and extend the range of cooperative activities carried out, in fields such as industry, training, energy and environment. In the science and technology field, the Commission calls for scientific and technological cooperation to be used as a means to strengthen the position of European companies in China, as well as to support China's economic development. Areas for cooperation could include agriculture, information and communications technologies, biotechnology, materials sciences, transport, energy, the environment and natural resources. The Commission proposes the negotiation of a specific S&T cooperation agreement between the EU and China, and recently requested authorization from the Council for this purpose. Other cooperative activities would include the development of partnerships, to allow the exchange of young scientists, managers and engineers.