As a follow-up to exchanges of information between European and Chinese scientists and engineers during the 2017 EU-China Blue Year and follow-up discussions in Tianjin last year, a contract funded under the Partnership Instrument was signed on 31 October cementing a major EU contribution to the EU-China Blue Partnership for the Oceans. By harnessing expertise from both sides, it will increase the basic knowledge needed to deal with the challenges of our planet’s rapidly changing seas and oceans. The two teams will jointly (1) develop protocols to allow data from EU’s European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) and the Chinese National Marine Data and Information Service to be seamlessly combined in order to provide a more precise, more complete and more coherent picture of these changes (2) compare the performance of models and indicators for circulation, seabed habitat and ecosystem vulnerability in European and Asian seas (3) assess how coastlines between Europe and Asia are changing in terms of sea-level-rise, coastal erosion and wetland degradation. A bilingual web-interface will deliver open access to data, maps and reports. An inception meeting in Tianjin shortly after Chinese New Year, with large participation of specialists from both sides will formally launch this ground-breaking collaboration.