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|Thursday, September 06, 2001, updated at 07:36(GMT+8)|
China, EU Satisfied at Progress of China's WTO BidChina and the European Union (EU) expressed satisfaction with the smooth work for China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) during Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji's talks with EU leaders at their fourth summit meeting in Brussels Wednesday.
The leaders reaffirmed their shared commitment to securing China's entry into the WTO as soon as possible, said a joint press statement issued after the summit.
EU leaders who attended the summit were Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, whose country holds the current EU presidency, EU 's High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and European Commission President Romano Prodi.
Following the meeting, the Chinese premier and the three leaders held a joint press conference, agreeing that they had a fruitful summit. Verhofstadt told reporters that this was the first time that the EU-China summit issued a joint statement.
The leaders agreed that China's accession would benefit both sides. The Chinese side reiterated that after its accession to the WTO it would, while enjoying its full rights in the multilateral trading system, fully implement its commitments.
While expressing its thanks to the EU for its long-standing support for China's entry into the WTO, China also welcomed the EU 's willingness to continue existing, and undertake additional, efforts to help China in this area, both through cooperation programs and through dialogue in key areas.
The leaders at the summit expressed their full support for a broad-based new round of multilateral trade negotiations under the principle of balanced interests for the benefit of all WTO members.
The leaders also welcomed the continued growth in China-EU trade and rising levels of direct investment by EU companies in China. They discussed the issue of EU trade deficit with China and agreed that it was important to exert further efforts to expand China-EU trade and, in the process, improve the balance of trade.
The leaders also discussed trade issues such as anti-dumping and quantitative restrictions. They indicated that the two sides would handle these issues in accordance with WTO rules in view of accession and agreed that they would consult on these issues appropriate.
Both sides also looked forward to the next China-EU summit meeting, to be held in 2002, and agreed to ensure early and full follow-up to the discussions at the fourth summit.
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