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Li Keqiang Attends and Addresses China-EU Business Summit

2017/06/03

On the morning of June 2, 2017 local time, Premier Li Keqiang and President Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission jointly attended the China-EU Business Summit at the Egmont Palace in Brussels and delivered speeches. About 400 representatives from business circle of China and the EU industrial attended the event.

Li Keqiang said that China and the EU are two leading players for promoting world peace and common development. My visit to Europe is aimed at building consensus, increasing mutual trust and enhancing cooperation between China and Europe to counter international uncertainties with a stable China-EU relationship and our consistent commitment to multilateralism. A united, stable, prosperous and open Europe and a strong euro serve the fundamental interests of all European peoples and contribute to world multipolarity, economic globalization and diversity of civilizations. China has all along placed strategic importance on its relations with the EU and considers the EU as a diplomatic priority. No matter how the situation in Europe and the world evolves, China will always be ready to deepen its comprehensive strategic partnership with the EU. We will continue to give firm support to the European integration process and respect the development paths chosen by European countries themselves.

Li Keqiang pointed out that at the beginning of this year, President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in which he underscored China's commitment to upholding free trade and put forward the proposition of making economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. China and the EU should remain committed to the overall direction of economic globalization and make efforts to address challenges brought by economic globalization and spread its benefits to more countries and more communities. The most urgent task now is to uphold the principle of free trade and fairness, which should be multilateral, inclusive and non-discriminatory, and to re-energize trade and investment.

Li Keqiang stressed that China and the EU should jointly uphold the rule-based multilateral economic and trade order. The multilateral trading regime with the WTO at its core provides important institutional safeguard for economic globalization. Its authority and efficacy should be respected and upheld. China has fully honored its commitments as a member of the WTO. Article 15 of China's WTO Accession Protocol is a "sunset clause", which obliges all members to unconditionally cease, upon the date of its expiry, the application of analogue country methodology in their anti-dumping investigations against China. On the issue of complying with Article 15 obligations, we hope the EU will send a positive signal of upholding the multilateral system and rules, which is also in the interest of the EU. China is willing to work with the EU to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for development, firmly uphold the norms governing international relations underpinned by the UN Charter, never waver from political settlement of hotspot issues and address global challenges on the basis of consensus-building, in a joint effort to promote durable peace and common development of the world.

Li Keqiang said that the all-round cooperation between China and the EU has been steadily pushed forward, and people of both sides benefit from it. Although cooperation and competition coexist in China-EU economic and trade relations, cooperation remains the mainstream. We are willing to speed up the negotiation with the EU on high-end investment agreement, launch an early joint feasibility study of China-EU free trade area, uplift the level of trade liberalization and facilitation, promote balanced growth of bilateral trade and build an investment environment that is more open, fairer and more rule-based, so as to form a pattern featuring two-way opening up, equal treatment, openness, mutual benefit and win-win results. Both sides should also share experience and strengthen cooperation in addressing common challenges including global production overcapacity and climate change.

Jean-Claude Juncker said in his speech that the current relations between the EU and China are of unprecedented importance and both sides are one of the largest trade partners to each other. Personnel exchanges between the two sides have become increasingly close. Both sides held similar stances on coping with various global challenges. The EU applauds China's efforts in building the most attractive investment destination. On the basis of the WTO rules, the EU stands ready to intensify dialogue and communication in line with the spirit of mutual benefit and sincere treatment, create an environment of fair competition, push forward the negotiation process of the EU-China investment agreement, strengthen cooperation in connectivity and innovation, work together to tackle the challenge of climate change so as to build an open and international rule-based world economy. The EU-China cooperation could create the future together and make the world that full of uncertainties more stable and prosperous, which are conducive to the common interests and the well-being of future generations.

Zhou Xiaochuan attended the event.

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