Joint Press Statement of the Fourth China-EU Summit

Following is the full text of the Joint Press Statement of the Fourth China-EU Summit issued Wednesday in Brussels:

Joint Press Statement of the Fourth China-EU Summit

The Fourth Summit Meeting between China and the European Union was held in Brussels, Belgium on 5 September 2001. Premier Zhu Rongji of the People's Republic of China, Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt of Belgium in his capacity as President of the European Council, assisted by the High Representative for the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, and the President of European Commission Romano Prodi attended the Summit.

The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Tang Jiaxuan, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation Shi Guangsheng, the European Commissioner for External Relations Christopher Pattern and the European Commissioner for Trade Pascal Lamy participated in the Summit.

Leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on China-EU relations and international and regional issues of common interest. Both sides expressed their resolve to expand and deepen further China-EU co-operation in all areas on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and to promote the development of a comprehensive partnership between China and the EU. Leaders expressed their satisfaction with the positive results of this Summit Meeting.

Leaders underlined the significant developments in both China and the EU since the first China-EU summit, held in London in 1998. They welcomed the new progress made in developing China-EU relations over the last three years. They considered a number of ways to enhance the relationship, including through greater exchanges, contact and cooperation between the peoples of China and the EU.

The two sides briefed each other on developments in China and the EU. The Chinese side welcomed the progress of the EU integration and enlargement process. The EU acknowledged and expressed support for the progress made so far in China's economic and social reform.

The EU side reaffirmed that it would continue to adhere to the one China principle and hoped for a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question through constructive dialogue. The Chinese side appreciated the EU's commitment to the one China principle and reiterated its principled position on the settlement of the Taiwan question in accordance with the basic principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems".

Leaders agreed, in particular, to strengthen China-EU political dialogue and widen its scope. They agreed that China and the EU should conduct more in-depth consultations and exchange of views at all levels, with more regular meetings of senior officials and experts, on China-EU relations and on international and regional security issues of mutual concern, including non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament.

The two sides agreed to continue their dialogue on human rights and reaffirmed their commitment to work towards meaningful and positive results. Both sides reaffirmed that the dialogue would continue on the basis of mutual respect and equality, and agreed that the dialogue should help promote their compliance with international human rights standards and cooperation with U.N. bodies and mechanisms in this field.

Leaders emphasised the political importance of China-EU co- operation in combating illegal migration and trafficking in human beings. They expressed satisfaction with the fruitful co-operation that had developed between the sides on these issues over the past year. They agreed to continue to strengthen their co-operation in this area.

Leaders agreed that negotiations for a China-EU maritime transport agreement would be opened formally on 13 September. Leaders stressed the importance of reinforcing dialogue on trade issues and of strengthening and expanding sectoral dialogues on enterprise policy and regulation, the information society, the environment, energy, science and technology, and satellite navigation. They instructed their officials to pursue discussions on customs with a view to negotiating bilateral agreements in this area. They also welcomed the intensification of contacts and co- operation in areas such as competition policy, securities, and quality supervision, inspection and quarantine.

Leaders welcomed the continued growth in China-EU trade and the 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. They also discussed trade issues such as anti-dumping and quantitative restrictions. Leaders 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 as appropriate.

Leaders expressed their satisfaction that the work for China's accession to the WTO was proceeding smoothly and reaffirmed their shared commitment to securing China's entry into the WTO as soon as possible. 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. China expressed 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. Leaders 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.

Leaders emphasised the significance of further strengthening cultural exchanges.

Leaders also agreed that China and the EU should continue their efforts to promote stability, peace and development in the world. They hoped to see an early, just and fair settlement of the conflicts in the Middle East, the Western Balkans and Central Africa, and agreed to continue their common efforts to support the reconciliation process on the Korean peninsula.

Leaders 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 this fourth Summit.

People's Daily Online ---