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Backgrounder: China-EU summits in recent years
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13:17, May 20, 2009

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday left Beijng for the 11th China-European Union (EU) Summit in the Czech capital of Prague.

The following is a chronology of the China-EU summits in recent years.

In January 1998, the EU proposed that the China-EU summit be held during the second Asia-Europe Meeting and a regular meeting mechanism be established.

On April 2, the first China-EU Summit was held in London between then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that held the rotating EU presidency, and then President of the European Commission Jacques Santer. After the summit, China and the EU issued a joint statement, which vowed to forge a steady and long-term constructive partnership and decided to hold the summit annually.

In December 1999, the second China-EU Summit was held in Beijing. The two sides committed themselves to pushing forward the steady and long-term constructive China-EU partnership, and expanding and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas.

In October 2000, the third China-EU Summit was held in Beijing. The two sides exchanged views on issues as China's entry to the World Trade Organization, the reinforcement of bilateral cooperation in the fields of science and technology, energy, information and education, the crackdown on illegal migration, the promotion of dialogue on human rights, and the strengthening of judicial cooperation.

In September 2001, the fourth China-EU Summit was held in Brussels. The two sides held talks on issues concerning the reinforcement of political dialogue, the expansion of economic and trade relations and exchanges of science and technology. They also discussed cooperation in areas of environmental protection and energy, and joint efforts to crack down on human trafficking and illegal migration.

In September 2002, the fifth China-EU Summit was held in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. At the summit, the two sides released a joint press communique calling for China and the EU to further expand and deepen their mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, and push forward the comprehensive China-EU partnership.

In October 2003, the sixth China-EU Summit was held in Beijing. The two sides decided to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership.

In December 2004, the seventh China-EU Summit was held in The Hague, the Netherlands. The two sides signed a string of documents, including a joint declaration on international nonproliferation and arms control.

In September 2005, the eighth China-EU Summit was held in Beijing. During the meeting, the two sides issued a joint declaration on climate change, and signed a series of cooperative agreements in a wide range of areas, including transportation, environmental protection, the space development program, and the refurbishment of the Beijing Capital Airport.

In September 2006, the ninth China-EU summit was held in Helsinki, Finland. Focusing on the long-term China-EU ties, Premier Wen proposed to draft a cooperative agreement of new China-EU partnership and start negotiations immediately on related issues. The proposal was welcomed by the EU side.

In November 2007, the 10th China-EU summit was held in Beijing. The two sides agreed to further enhance political dialogue and consultation at all levels, and continue to maintain consultation and coordination on major international and regional issues. They also agreed to set up a vice-premier-level dialogue mechanism on trade and economy.


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