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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 15:34, January 18, 2005
"We all need to become China experts": EU Trade Commissioner
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The world cannot neglect China's rapid economic growth for it is the world's largest consumer of coal, steel, copper and cement. China and the EU can create trade opportunities in many fields, in particular in the service sector. The service industry of the EU countries will impose huge influence on the Chinese market, said Peter Mandelson, the new EU Trade Commissioner in an exclusive interview with the People's Daily.

According to Mr. Mandelson, the trade disputes that may arise between China and the EU should be settled on the basis of the following principles:

First, China and the EU should put up a pre-warning system that enables both sides find disputes that may arise as early as possible.

Second, to establish an organ in which both sides are able to discuss disputes that may arise.

Third, both sides ought to adopt reasonable and acceptable measures to settle disputes.

The market economy status for China is a technical issue rather than a political one. The EU doesn't have a timetable as to when it will grant the status to China yet. China is now advancing in the correct direction. The EU and China are able to find practical solutions for all pending problems regarding the full market economy status of China, said Mandelson. "I will work together with the Chinese government to find out solutions for the problem," added he. Mr. Mandelson said he had established good working relations with Bo Xilai the Minster of Commerce of China. He looked forward to meeting with Bo for further cooperation.

Peter Mandelson took the position of EU Trade Commissioner on Nov 22nd 2004. The EU is the biggest trade organization in the world with highly integral trade policies. Peter Mandelson is regarded as "one of the most powerful people in Europe" by the public opinion. Having assisted Tony Blair accomplishing reform of the Labor Party, Peter Mandelson, the former minister of the UK cabinet is one of the firmest supporters and closest friends of Prime Minister Tony Blair. In recent years, he has cast much attention to China. He said in a lecture given to the club of 48 in London, " When I first entered politics, China was a distant concern for most of us. Today China's products fill the world's shops, China's foreign exchange reserves finance US borrowing, and European companies are among those that flock to invest there. For someone like me, who has become so interested in China in recent years, likes its people and admires its civilization, it is a good time to become the European Trade Commissioner. China can no longer be left to the sinologists. We all need to become China experts now, because China, and especially China's future, matters for all of us. Tonight, I want to offer some personal thoughts on that theme." This speech has aroused attention of the Chinese leaders that the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao quoted "We all need to become China experts," from his speech at the China-Europe think tank round table meeting held in Hague on Dec 8, 2004.

.By People's Daily Online


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