Premier Zhu Rongji Holds Talks with EU Leaders

Chinese Premier Attends EU-China Summit
Visiting Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji held talks Wednesday in Brussels with Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, whose country holds current EU presidency, and European Commission President Romano Prodi.

At the fourth China-EU summit meeting, both sides exchanged views over Sino-EU relations, international and regional issues of common concern in a friendly and frank atmosphere, and reached important consensus on a series of issues. They agreed that the Sino-EU relations have made major progress and bilateral cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, science and technology, and culture has developed smoothly since China and EU leaders held their first summit in 1998.

On behalf of the 15-nation European bloc, Verhofstadt said it is more and more important for the EU and China to establish a comprehensive partnership. China has maintained a good momentum of economic development against the backdrop of a slowing down world economy, demonstrating its huge potential in economic development.

He said China's imminent accession into the World Trade Organization will inject new vitality into China's economy and Beijing's successful bid for hosting the 2008 Olympics will further promote China's development. The EU side welcomes China's adherence to its reform and opening up policy, and is willing to increase political dialogue and expand all-round cooperation with China in various fields, thus promoting the development of EU- China relations.

The Chinese premier said the international situation is now undergoing profound changes while China and the EU are in an important stage of development. Strengthened cooperation will benefit not only both sides but also the whole world. The Chinese government will handle China-EU relations from a strategic and a long-term point of view and is willing to enhance long-term and all-round cooperation with the EU in various fields, in a joint effort to promote world peace, stability and development.

The two sides also exchanged views and reiterated their respective positions on human rights and other issues on which they have different views. Both sides agreed that their dialogue on human rights has so far enhanced mutual understanding and produced positive results. They agreed to continue their dialogue on this issue on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

After the summit, the two sides issued a joint press statement. The Chinese premier and EU leaders held a joint press conference.

People's Daily Online ---