Relations between the EU and China have developed rapidly since the first diplomatic ties were established in 1975. Since 1998, EU-China summits have been held almost every year. The creation of the EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2003 has deepened and broadened collaboration in a wide range of areas.

The EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for cooperation, jointly signed and adopted in 2013, provides strategic guidance for the relations between these two regions of the world on many topics, including science, technology and innovation.

In fact, both the EU and China need to foster science, technology and innovation (STI) development to address the economic, social and sustainability challenges they encounter. Interactions between the two regions have also been growing across themes such as environment, energy, climate issues and many others.

Within the field of environment, water is a priority for the cooperation with China. An EU-China water platform (CEWP) was established in 2012 to promote policy dialogue, joint research and business development in the water sector.

The European partners of the PIANO project (Policies, Innovation, And Network for enhancing Opportunities for China-Europe water cooperation) have worked on the development of this Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) document in close cooperation with the representatives of the Chinese institutions, who signed a
letter of intent to be involved in the project activities at the time the proposal was presented to the European
Commission for its funding by the programme Horizon 2020. Then, in 2015, the EU-China Research and Innovation Co-funding mechanism was not yet in place and Chinese researchers could not be proper partners in the PIANO project activities. Nevertheless, they have provided a very relevant and effective contribution to this SRIA by providing inputs via questionnaires and through workshops held within the PIANO project.

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