The European Union's commissioner for climate action and energy has said "climate diplomacy" will be at the heart of Europe's relationship with China throughout 2015.
In an exclusive interview ahead of the ongoing two sessions, Miguel Arias Canete also said the EU was "ready to work" with China to tackle global warming.
The Spanish-born official appealed to other countries to "come forward" with their pledges to cut emissions as part of the UN global deal in the first quarter of this year.
Canete was speaking in the wake of "lengthy and detailed" discussions in Brussels about climate negotiations with Xie Zhenhua, former vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission and China's lead climate negotiator.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the EU and China and the commissioner said "climate diplomacy" will be "at the heart" of cooperation between the two in 2015.
The EU-China summit later this year, said Canete, will be a "great opportunity" for the EU and China to "reaffirm our commitment" to make the keenly-awaited Paris climate change conference in December a success.
"But the dialogue between our two countries on climate runs a lot deeper than the few major events we have planned throughout the year," he said.
Canete thought it may still be difficult weaning China off coal, its biggest source of energy. "There is no question that phasing out coal, the most polluting of fossil fuels, will be a challenge for China, as it is for all countries."