Reform and governance are of vital interest to both the People’s Republic of China and the European Union (EU). China is facing demographic and environmental challenges and has been experiencing a rapid economic transition. The social tensions arising from these challenges call for a governance system that will allow the Chinese leadership to alleviate social tensions without putting at risk their leadership. A society which is becoming more diverse and facing problems of a global scale that also cause turmoil at the grass roots may be difficult to govern top-down. Notwithstanding the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) grip on Chinese society, there may be ways to integrate public opinion and civil society organisations in governmental decision-making through reforms that do not challenge the current leadership.