China and the European Union (EU) issued on Saturday a joint statement covering a wide range of issues after an EU-China summit in Helsinki.
Following is the full text of the joint statement:
1. The Ninth EU-China Summit was held in Helsinki, Finland, on Sept. 9, 2006. The EU was represented by the president of the European Council, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen of Finland, President of the European Commission Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso. Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of China attended the meeting on behalf of the People's Republic of China.
2. Leaders of the two sides agreed that the past decade had seen significant changes in the EU and in China and a progressive deepening of the relationship, which was maturing into a comprehensive strategic partnership. They believed that the strengthening of the relationship had been of great value to the long-term interests of the EU and China, to cooperation between Asia and Europe, as well as to peace, stability, and development in the world at large.
3. Leaders of the two sides emphasized the importance of high- level political dialogue and consultations at all levels in enhancing understanding and trust, expanding common ground, and advancing bilateral relations. They welcomed the recently established regular strategic dialogue mechanism, which had proven to be a valuable tool in the frank and in-depth discussions of important international and regional issues and the exchanges of views on bilateral issues of common concern.
4. In order to reflect the full breadth and depth of today's comprehensive strategic partnership between the EU and China, the two sides agreed to launch negotiations on a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which will encompass the full scope of their bilateral relationship, including enhanced cooperation in political matters. These negotiations will also update the 1985 EEC-China Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement, and will be administered in a relatively independent manner, taking into consideration the global objectives of the EU-China strategic partnership.
5. The EU side reaffirmed its continued adherence to "one China" policy and expressed its hope for a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question through constructive dialogue. The Chinese side appreciated EU's commitment to the "one China" policy and reiterated its principled position on the Taiwan question.
6. Leaders also discussed the EU arms embargo. The Chinese side reiterated its view that lifting the arms embargo would be conducive to the sound development of the EU-China relations and urged the EU to lift the arms embargo at an early date. The EU side recognized the importance of this issue and confirmed its willingness to carry forward work towards lifting the embargo on the basis of the Joint Statement of the 2004 EU-China Summit and subsequent European Council Conclusions.
7. Leaders reiterated their willingness to develop their cooperation in the fields of non-proliferation and disarmament, in particular in the preparation for a successful review conference on Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in November 2006 and the upcoming Preparatory Committee for the next review conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. They will continue to maintain and enhance dialogue and cooperation on the basis of the Joint Declaration of the European Union and the People's Republic of China on Non-proliferation and Arms Control which was adopted at the 2004 EU-China Summit. The two sides noted with great satisfaction their ongoing practical cooperation in the area of export control.
8. Leaders emphasized the importance of efforts to reform the United Nations system and their strong support for a fair, just and rules-based multilateral international system with the UN playing a central role. They reiterated their commitment to promote world peace, security, sustainable development, and human rights, as recognized in the 2005 UN World Summit outcome document. The two sides expressed their support for reform which would improve the UN's ability to cope with new and existing threats and challenges. They will engage in achieving progress on the reform by consensus and will be committed to ensuring full implementation of the outcome of the 2005 UN World Summit, including by cooperating with the newly established UN bodies such as the Peace Building Commission and the Human Rights Council.
9. The two sides underlined their commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights and continued to place a high value on the EU-China human rights dialogue. They underlined the importance of concrete steps in the field of human rights and reaffirmed their commitment to further enhance cooperation and exchanges in this field on the basis of equality and mutual respect, while making efforts to achieving more meaningful and positive results on the ground. The EU welcomed China's commitment to ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as soon as possible. Both sides confirmed their commitment to cooperate with UN human rights mechanism and their respect for international human rights standards provided for in relevant international human rights instruments including the rights of minorities. In respect of the global fight against genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, they also noted the importance of the International Criminal Court. The two sides were committed to supporting the work of the UN Human Rights Council and undertook to strengthen their communication and coordination in this regard in line with UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251.
10. Summit Leaders welcomed the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 which led to the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 sets the required framework for a political settlement of the crisis supported by the reinforced UNIFIL forces in which the EU Member States are playing a leading role. Summit leaders urged all parties in the region to play a constructive role in helping to swiftly implement this resolution. They also stressed their determination to bring humanitarian assistance to the people of Lebanon.
11. Summit leaders emphasized the need for a comprehensive peace plan for the Middle East. They reaffirmed their support for a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on existing agreements which include the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the principles laid down in the Road Map.
12. Leaders noted the reports by the IAEA Director General on Iran 's nuclear program and the UNSC Resolution 1696 (2006). They called on Iran to implement UNSC Resolution 1696 (2006) and the resolutions of the IAEA Board of Governors. Leaders welcomed the proposals put forward by France, Germany, the United Kingdom, endorsed by the United States, the Russian Federation and China, with the support of the European Union's High Representative, for a long-term and comprehensive arrangement with Iran based on mutual respect and mutual confidence.
13. Leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to work towards lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, including the peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue. Leaders emphasized their wish to see the Six Party talks process resume as soon as possible and make progress on implementing the Joint Statement of Sept. 19, 2005. They also expressed their grave concern over DPRK's recent multiple launch of missiles. They strongly called on all the parties to take a flexible and pragmatic approach in creating conditions for an early resumption of Six Party Talks. 14. Leaders expressed their serious concern about the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Darfur. Leaders emphasized that transition from an AU to a UN-led operation would be conducive to the peace in Darfur.
15. Leaders reiterated their commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustainable global development. Meeting the MDGs will require urgent action on all sides, among other more ambitious national development strategies and efforts backed by increased and more effective international support particularly in Africa.
Leaders also stressed the importance of their relations with Africa, and stated their commitment to work together in favor of Africa's peace, stability and sustainable development. The EU reaffirmed its attachment to the principles of good governance and human rights, as embodied in its Africa Strategy. The Chinese side emphasized the upholding of the five principles of peaceful coexistence, in particular the principle of non-interference into others' internal affairs.
The Leaders agreed to pursue a structured dialogue on Africa and explore avenues for practical cooperation on the ground in partnership with the African side, including with the support of NEPAD initiatives and with the aim of attaining the Millennium Development Goals. The leaders welcomed China's structured cooperation with Africa through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Both the EU and China are signatories of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness. The two parties will continue to promote the effectiveness principles contained in the Paris Declaration.
16. They also looked forward to a successful 6th ASEM Summit on Sept. 10 and 11, 2006. They viewed ASEM as a valuable framework for Asia-Europe dialogue and cooperation and believed that this summit, which would also mark the 10th anniversary of ASEM, would take the process forward. They agreed to continue their close cooperation in promoting ASEM and welcomed China's role as the host of the 7th ASEM Summit in 2008.
17. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the fight against terrorism and reiterated that anti-terrorism action must accord with the purpose and principles of the United Nations Charter and the norms of relevant International Law and fully respect human rights. The two sides underlined the leading role of the United Nations with respect to counter-terrorism, and the importance of the universal implementation of all UN Security Council resolutions, UN conventions and protocols related to counter- terrorism. Both sides remain committed to achieving consensus on the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and call upon the UN General Assembly to adopt the counter-terrorism strategy without delay, as mandated by the World Summit.
18. The two sides expressed their concern over the spreading of avian influenza in the world and their high appreciation for the International Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza held by China, the European Commission, and the World Bank in Beijing at the beginning of this year. They promised to carry out relevant follow-up actions and agreed to further the cooperation in the prevention and control of such infectious diseases as avian influenza and welcomed the recent WHO resolution on the international health regulations. In addition to the avian flu and to other newly emerging infectious diseases like SARS, the leaders underlined the importance of increased cooperation to combat HIV/AIDS. They especially stressed the need for transparency and non-discrimination on these issues.
19. Sustainable development is one of the major areas in EU-China cooperation. The leaders agreed to step up the exchange of experiences with a view to building a resource-efficient and environment-friendly society. In this vein, the EU will enhance its cooperation with China, backing its efforts in her rapid economic development, to introduce a circular economy and to safeguard natural resources, including biological diversity. Leaders agreed that many challenges remained, including in the areas of sustainable production and consumption, and energy efficiency. Leaders agreed to intensify cooperation on these areas and on specific issues such as illegal logging, as an important contribution to the preservation of natural resources.
20. Leaders welcomed the progress on the implementation of the EU- China partnership on climate change. The partnership has provided a good foundation for strengthening dialogue and cooperation between the EU and China in the areas covered by the partnership. They agreed to further strengthen the dialogue and cooperation in this regard including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes launched to promote further development of international climate change policies. They also agreed to work positively towards a rolling work plan to further implement the partnership, covering the period 2007-2010. They welcomed closer cooperation on the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism and the start of cooperation on the research of near-zero emission power generation technology through carbon dioxide capture and storage. They underlined the importance of reducing significantly the cost of key technologies and of their transfer, deployment and dissemination, as well as of taking steps to encourage and promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production to lessen the causes and adverse impacts of climate change. To this end, they also stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation in capacity building. They believed that an integrated approach to climate change and energy is crucial, and particularly underlined the need to exploit the synergies between the promotion of energy security, sustainable energy supply, innovation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to ensure consistency between meeting the ultimate objectives of the UNFCCC and energy policy goals.
21. Global energy security is crucial to ensuring economic growth and livelihood of people, maintaining world peace and stability and promoting development worldwide. The EU and China share a common concern for ensuring reliable, economical and sustainable energy supply. In this respect the leaders affirmed that they will take appropriate measures to further strengthen dialogue and cooperation on energy in an effort to create a stable, secure, efficient and clean energy environment to support sustainable economic and social development.
The Leaders emphasized the strategic significance of the EU-China High Level Working Group on Energy and the regular industrial conferences on EU-China energy cooperation. The two sides underlined the importance of continuing to strengthen practical cooperation, particularly in the framework of the action plan on clean coal and the action plan on energy efficiency and renewable energy.
22. Both sides were determined to work closely together to resume the WTO Doha Development Agenda negotiations as soon as possible with a view to achieve agreement on an ambitious and balanced outcome. Both sides emphasized the importance of reaching such an agreement, recalling strongly the need for all WTO members to make their due contribution.
23. Leaders underlined the importance of a complete implementation of WTO commitments. They noted that most transition periods for China will have expired in December 2006, recognized with satisfaction the progress already made, and acknowledged the importance of remaining work ahead. Both sides emphasized the importance of dialogue and cooperation to solve bilateral trade issues with due regard to their international rights and obligations. They recalled that a transparent, open, and predictable regulatory environment is important in the area of services, as open and efficient services markets serve as a launch-pad for broader economic activity.
24. They reiterated their commitment to their dialogue to maximize mutual benefits of bilateral relations by improving market access and increasing investment opportunities for both sides.
25. Both sides expressed their satisfaction over the progress of the Market Economy Status (MES) dialogue and the working group and they noted the joint report on MES to the summit. Both sides look forward to the update of the June 2004 MES report to be issued by the Commission before the end of 2006 with a view to deepen the communication of both sides on the outstanding issues which will be helpful in resolving the MES issue. (more)
26. Leaders reiterated the importance of protecting intellectual property rights (IPR). In particular, both sides agreed on the need for appropriate deterrence against piracy and to the effective enforcement of IPR legislation. Both sides expressed their satisfaction over the communication and cooperation of the past year under the EU-China IPR Dialogue and the IPR working group and stood ready to further the exchanges and cooperation in this field. Both sides also reiterated that they would strengthen the cooperation and exchanges in the field of geographical indications. The two sides recognized the importance of technology for their economic development and expressed the willingness to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on IPR protection in this area and support the contractual freedom between enterprises in the field of technology transfers under the condition of fairness, reason and non-discrimination.
27. Leaders underlined the importance of a transparent, open, and predictable regulatory environment. Both sides stressed the value of involving actively stakeholders in the drafting of technical regulations and in related work. They welcomed the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Administrative Cooperation Arrangements between the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (ADSIQ) and the European Commission's Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO) in January 2006 and the subsequent agreement to establish the "EU- China Food and Consumer Goods Safety Joint Committee" with a view to facilitating the implementation of the MoU. Leaders expected that the Memorandum of Understanding together with the consultation mechanism and other established forms of cooperation between the two sides in the fields of food safety/Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues and TBT/industrial product safety would advance sustainable bilateral trade flows. For this purpose, leaders also agreed to actively work to reduce technical barriers and obstacles to trade in TBT and SPS areas by, for example, the use of international standards.
28. Leaders welcomed the EU-China Business Summit to be held in Helsinki on Sept. 12, 2006. They were of the view that the Business Summit would provide a key opportunity to enhance economic relations and the business environment between the EU and China. Both sides underlined the importance of involving more actively stakeholders in EU-China trade and investment related dialogues. The leaders welcomed the discussions taking place between Chinese and EU industry during the business summit and their recognition of the importance of EU-China cooperation in promoting innovations, and sustainable development, including the development of environmental technologies and services.
29. The two sides expressed the common wish to further the EU-China science and technology partnership and recognized that the China National Long and Medium Term Plan for Science and Technology Development and the 7th EU Framework Program provided a new opportunity to carry out cooperation of strategic importance. In this respect, they appreciate the involvement of Chinese organizations in the EU funded five year CO-REACH project, launched in Beijing in May 2005, to help identify priorities and appropriate channels for future S&T collaborations between China and Europe. The two sides announced that the "China-EU Science and Technology Year" activities will be launched in October 2006 in Brussels, to further promote S&T cooperation for sustainable mutual benefit. Both sides will create necessary conditions to make the event a success.
The two sides continued to emphasize and highlight the importance of the cooperation agreement on Galileo between the European Community and its Member States and the People's Republic of China. The two sides looked forward to the early implementation, with other parties, of ITER and the further expansion and strengthening of their cooperation in the relevant fields.
30. Leaders encouraged relevant authorities of the EU and China to enhance dialogue and cooperation. The two sides will make good use of the current dialogues to continue exchanges and cooperation in various fields including environmental protection, labor and social affairs, development of agriculture and rural areas as well as the customs.
The two sides fully recognized the Memorandum of Understanding on China-EU Dialogue on Energy and Transport Strategies signed in September 2005 and the first plenary meeting of China-EU Strategic Dialogue on Energy and Transport Strategies held in March 2006. They stressed the importance of continuing to foster EU-China cooperation in this field.
Leaders expressed their satisfaction over the cooperation between the EU and China in the field of transport. They emphasized the need to continue the policy dialogue in the framework of the EU- China maritime agreement and they supported the efforts of shipping companies of both sides to run business in each other's territory. They were of the view that the two sides needed to strengthen position coordination and cooperation in international organizations including the International Maritime Organization and the WTO. The two sides expected the transport services of the EU-China to deepen exchanges and cooperation in the above- mentioned fields in the framework of Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the fields of Road Transport and Inland Waterways.
Leaders welcomed the second round of the EU-China Financial Dialogue that was held in Beijing on May 25, 2006. They reiterated the importance of strengthening cooperation and coordination in the macroeconomic, financial, and regulatory areas and agreed that the third round would be held in Brussels in 2007.
Leaders welcomed the newly established sectoral dialogue on regional policy cooperation and expressed their satisfaction over the EU-China Regional Economic Development Seminar held in Beijing. They stressed that practical cooperation should be carried out within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding on Regional Policy Cooperation between the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the European Commission and looked forward to the next EU-China meeting within this framework which would take place in Brussels in 2007.
The two sides expressed satisfaction over the progress achieved in the EU-China Information Society Dialogue and they hoped to step up joint efforts, especially in the strategic cooperation on high- speed e-infrastructure and its major application, to promote the development of the information society in the EU and China.
The leaders welcomed the start of the negotiations for a bilateral agreement on drug precursors chemical control.
31. Leaders took note of the progress achieved in the area of civil aviation cooperation since the 8th Summit and reiterated the significant prospects of strengthening cooperation in the aviation sector. In this respect, leaders stressed the necessity of restoring legal certainty to the existing bilateral air services agreements between the People's Republic of China and EU Member States. To this effect, the leaders called for discussions to continue as a matter of priority as agreed between the parties. Leaders also stressed the importance and mutual interest in enhancing technical co-operation in such fields as aviation safety, security air traffic management, and air transport market supervision.
32. Leaders underlined that facilitating people-to-people exchanges and combating illegal migration were a priority for both sides. They emphasized the good mutual understanding reached at the EC-China High-Level Consultations in July. Leaders also discussed issues of readmission and visa facilitation. They reiterated their willingness to open negotiations on issues of their respective concern and agreed to start concrete cooperation on related issues as soon as possible. Leaders also welcomed significant progress in the implementation of the tourism agreement (ADS) and encouraged the further intensification of cooperation at appropriate level.
33. The two sides recognized that the strengthening of educational cooperation served as the social and cultural foundation for the sustainable development of the EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership. The two sides will conduct deeper and wider cooperation, jointly discuss the mechanism and priorities for future cooperation, and make an effort to institutionalize such cooperation. The Chinese side expressed interest in concluding in the future an EU-China Education Cooperation and Exchanges Agreement. Leaders endorsed cooperation in establishing an EU- China Law School and welcomed the contribution from the EU side. The relevant departments of the two sides will continue to conduct consultations in this regard with a view to reaching agreement at an early date. The Chinese side will launch a five-year Chinese Government Scholarship Program (EU Window) from year 2007 on, to provide 100 scholarships per year to young students from the EU in a bid to provide more opportunities for European students to study Chinese.
34. The leaders also recognized the significance of cultural diversity for sustainable development, and welcomed the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The leaders supported increasing cultural interaction and visits between the EU Member States and China and especially encouraged visits by performing groups and artists as a way to strengthen links between the Chinese and European cultural circles.
35. Leaders recognized the importance of a healthy and developing civil society for the sustainability of the reform process both in the EU and China. Leaders were of the view that the exchanges and cooperation between the China Economic and Social Council (CESC) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) constituted a part of the relationship. To reinforce existing ties, they endorsed and encouraged the establishment of a regular roundtable to contribute to the enrichment and development of the EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership.
36. Leaders of the two sides supported the enhancement of exchanges between the National People's Congress of China and the European Parliament and between the parties, media circles, and think-tanks of the two sides. They also supported the expansion and deepening of exchanges between young people including, inter alia, within the framework of the ASEM process, and encouraged cooperation between youth organizations in the EU and China.