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China, EU vow to jointly deal with crisis, climate
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08:25, May 21, 2009

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Leaders of China and the European Union (EU) have reached important consensus on how to further develop the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, and jointly deal with the global financial crisis as well as climate change at a summit Wednesday.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday held the 11th China-European Union (EU) summit with Czech President Vaclav Klaus and European Commission President Jose Barroso in Prague, Czech Republic, which now holds the rotating presidency of the EU.

The three leaders thoroughly exchanged views in a frank, practical and friendly atmosphere, Xinhua News Agency reports.

Wen said the development of the China-EU relations embodies the mutually beneficial cooperation between the biggest developing country and the biggest bloc of developed countries, and the friendly exchanges between the two major ancient civilizations.

He expressed hope that the EU would recognize China's market economy status and lift the arms embargo against China at an early date, which he said is in the interest of both the EU and China-EU ties.

The summit is a frank dialogue between countries with different social systems, which conforms to the historical trend, meets the requirement of the advancing of the times, and benefits the Chinese and European people and the whole international community, Wen said.

The common and harmonious development of China and Europe is fundamentally helpful to the world's harmony and sustainable development, the premier added.

Wen said the core of the China-EU ties lies in their strategic importance, while the bilateral relations are featured with comprehensive substance, and the key to their development is to advance with the times.

Under the current complex and volatile international political and economic situations, China and the EU should stick to the basic principle of strategic partnership, and take the expansion of practical cooperation as a major point, he said.

China and the EU should strengthen confidence, jointly move forward, and push forward the sustainable development of bilateral relations in an in-depth and all-around way, Wen said.

Wen said both sides should give full play to the role of the China-EU summit in strategically guiding the development of the bilateral ties. Other dialogue mechanisms, such as high-level economic and trade talks, should further promote exchanges and cooperation in various sectors, he said.

Both sides should also give full play to the role of legal framework as a stabilizer, and reach a deal on the China-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) as soon as possible, Wen said.

In January 2007, China and the EU began substantial negotiations on the PCA, which would serve as a framework agreement encompassing the full scope of their bilateral relationship.

The key to China-EU strategic cooperation is the principle of mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs while taking into consideration each other's core concerns and properly handling sensitive issues, Wen said.

The bilateral relations should not be adversely affected by individual incidents, noted the premier.

Meanwhile, the EU side said the EU-China relations are very important, both strategically and comprehensively, and have a huge potential for development.

The EU attaches great importance to its dialogue and cooperation with China and remains actively dedicated to further deepening the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, it said.

The EU is ready to, in the spirit of sincerity and openness, further strengthen mechanisms including the EU-China Summit and China-EU high-level economic and trade talks, speed up negotiation process of the EU-China PCA, and push forward the EU-China relations in the face of various global issues and challenges, it said.

The EU also reiterated its adherence to the one-China policy and support for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. The EU is willing to deal with China's market economy status in a fair and objective manner and has the political will to solve the issue of arms embargo against China, it said.

The two sides also exchanged views on how to deal with the international financial crisis.

Wen said China and the EU share common interests and broad consensus when it comes to the fight against the crisis.

China and the EU should work together to overcome the current difficulties and make contribution to the early recovery of the world's economy, he said.

The EU side said China's sustained economic growth benefits not only Europe but also the world at large. It also hailed the measures China has recently adopted to stimulate its economy and expand domestic demand as being effective.

The EU side said it will commit itself to developing mutually beneficial and win-win trade and economic relations with China, hoping that it could actively participate in the process of China's opening market and economic growth.

The two sides agreed to oppose trade and investment protectionism in whatever forms, and the Chinese side said it will shortly send another buying mission to the EU in order to increase imports from Europe.

The Chinese side expressed the hope that the EU would relax its export restrictions of high tech products to China so that bilateral trade and investment could continue to increase.

The two sides pledged to make new efforts to increase mutual investment and enhance cooperation in small- and medium-sized enterprises, trade facilitation, science, transportation and postal services.

They also agreed to strengthen dialogue on macro-economic policy and finance, and make joint efforts to promote reform of the global financial system.

Wen elaborated on China's policy and initiatives on climate change.

Wen said that though the global economic crisis is still raging, the international community should never waver in its resolve to fight against climate change.

Guided by the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities," China is ready to work together with the EU side to help achieve positive results at the upcoming UN climate change conference scheduled in Copenhagen in December.

The EU side said it has taken notice of China's achievements in energy-saving and emission-reduction, and believed that China has made related efforts in the right direction.

It expressed the hope that the two sides would make complementary efforts and strengthen cooperation to make the Copenhagen meeting a success.

About China's development prospect and its implication, Wen said China is still a developing country in spite of its huge achievement, and that long and arduous efforts are needed on its road toward modernization.

The premier said that China adheres to an independent foreign policy of peace and self-determination, and pursues a mutually beneficial and win-win opening strategy, and will never seek hegemony.

While multipolarization and mutilateralism represent the larger trend and the will of people, it's impossible for a couple of countries or a group of big powers to solve global issues, Wen said.

He added that China is willing to develop equal and reciprocal partnerships with all countries, and make joint contribution to world peace and development.

While highly commending China's development achievement, the EU side said it attaches importance to China's positive and constructive role on the international stage, saying it believes that China will make even larger contribution to world peace and stability.

During the exchange of views on energy security and other international and regional issues of common interests, the two sides reiterated their commitment to strengthening coordination on international affairs, proposed that disputes be solved peacefully through dialogues, expressed support for mutilateralism, and agreed to actively work for world peace, stability and development.

The two sides agreed to hold the 12th summit in the second half of this year in Beijing.

After the meeting, the Chinese and EU leaders witnessed the signing of three agreements on cooperation in clean energy, science and technology and small-and medium-sized enterprises respectively.

Source: Xinhua

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