EU, China relations stronger: Swedish Foreign Minister

08:13, February 17, 2011      

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The Swedish foreign affairs minister said Wednesday that the European Union's relations with China are growing stronger.

"It is important that the EU conduct a close dialogue with the Asian countries on global issues such as climate change, environmental technology, open and competitively neutral markets, open trade routes, energy and food security and, above all, democracy and human rights," Carl Bildt said in the government's foreign policy statement presented to the Swedish parliament.

"China, which is at the center of this dialogue, has undergone radical change. The proportion of very poor people has decreased from 65 percent to 10 percent in 30 years. The European Union's relations with China are growing stronger," he said.

Bildt described India as "a key country for long-term stability and security in Asia".

"Deepened cooperation with India on global issues such as cyber security, combating terrorism, climate, development and open trade routes is natural. A free trade agreement between the EU and India would further

strengthen relations," he said.

Bildt said he supports Russia's effort to participate in the WTO.

"It is vital that the country be integrated into international cooperation based on mutual commitments, and Sweden supports Russian membership of the WTO," Bildt said.

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