|Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) shakes hands with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (R) and Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, during a photocall in Brussels, Belgium, March 31, 2014. Xi attended a work banquet held by Herman Van Rompuy here on Monday. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)|
BRUSSELS, March 31 (Xinhua) -- China and the European Union (EU) pledged to deepen their partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization, according to a joint statement released here on Monday.
The two sides agreed that the current visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the EU headquarters is a historic landmark in China-EU relations, and underlined their determination to strengthen the global demension of their cooperation, the statement said.
Under the principles of equality, respect and trust, China and the EU vowed to further deepen their partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization, by comprehensively implementing the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.
On safeguarding world peace and stability, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in addressing regional and global challenges, and gradually raise the level of China-EU dialogue and cooperation on defense and security.
Authorities of both sides reaffirmed their common grounds in world affairs, emphasizing multilateralism and the "central role" of the United Nations, and the importance of resolving international and regional disputes with peaceful means.
A number of hotspot issues were touched upon during Xi's visit, including Iran, Syria, Ukraine and the security situation in northeast Asia and around Europe, said the statement, adding that China and the EU acknowledged the need to reinforce cooperation on foreign policy and security issues.
In addition, the two sides expressed satisfaction with their joint naval exercise on counter-piracy held earlier this month in the Gulf of Aden, which "reflected the successful joint efforts of the Chinese Navy and of EU operation" in strengthening maritime safety, according to the document.
The EU applauded China's readiness to increase the frequency of escorts of the World Food Program vessels transporting food aid to Somalia, as the two sides pledged to enhance cooperation "to the benefit of partners in the African continent."
On China-EU trade and investment relations, the two sides underlined the necessity of coordinating their policies to ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth and to foster financial stability.
Reaffirming their commitment to boosting economic exchanges on the basis of mutual benefit, the two sides hailed the progress of an ongoing China-EU Investment Agreement covering investment protection and market access.
Such a pact "will convey both sides' joint commitment towards stronger cooperation as well as their willingness to envisage broader ambitions," the statement said, listing "a deep and comprehensive FTA" as a longer term perspective.
Meanwhile, the EU "strongly supports China's swift participation in the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiation," which the two sides consider "as an important stepping stone towards the future multilateralization of TiSA."
Eying on lifting transport relations, the two sides also decided to develop synergies between China's Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and EU policies, and to jointly explore common cooperation initiatives along the belt.
China and the EU, said the statement, are also ready to learn from each other's reform processes.
Both sides are committed to exchanging experience in such key areas as urbanization, environment protection, regional development, urban-rural integration, governance systems and governance capacity building.
They reaffirmed the importance of the China-EU urbanization partnership as a key instrument to promote sustainable development, the statement said, adding the two sides are looking forward to it being translated into concrete projects on the ground.
On human rights, the two sides agreed to deepen exchanges at bilateral and international levels on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and to strengthen constructive dialogue on jointly agreed key areas.
China and the EU also stressed the special importance of increasing cultural, educational and youth exchanges, and decided to hold the next round of the High Level People-to-People Dialogue in May.
The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation on mobility and migration issues, and support the development of China-EU sustainable tourism.