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The 8th China-EU Leaders' Meeting Held in Beijing

2005/09/05

On September 5, 2005, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, President of EU Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Secretary General of EU Council and High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana held the 8th China-EU Leaders' Meeting in the Great Hall of the People.

The China-EU leaders' meeting mechanism was established in 1998 and is an annual consultation mechanism of the highest level between both sides. It has played an important role in the development process of China-EU relations and greatly promoted the mutually beneficial cooperation between both sides in various areas.

Both sides reviewed and made positive comments on the development process of China-EU relations over the 8 years, exchanged views on the bilateral relations and major international issues of common interest and reached broad consensuses. Both sides agreed that to strengthen China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership conforms to the fundamental interest of the two sides and is conducive to the world peace, stability and development. Both sides agreed to take measures to further develop this partnership and deepen the exchanges and cooperation in politics, economy, energy resources, transportation, environmental protection, science and technology, culture and international and regional affairs as well. Both sides issued the Joint Statement on the 8th China-EU Leaders' Meeting and the Joint Declaration on the Climatic Changes between China and the EU and signed the document on the cooperation in the areas of transportation, environmental protection, space exploration and the construction of Beijing Capital Airport.

Wen said at the meeting that this China-EU Leaders' Meeting, which was held on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between both sides, is of great significance. After 30 years of efforts, the bilateral relations have become relatively mature and entered a new stage of steady and comprehensive development. Currently, both sides have witnessed deepened political dialogue and cooperation and strong momentum of trade growth. Both sides have also conducted fruitful cooperation in the areas of science and technology, environmental protection, energy resources, transportation and finance.

Wen pointed out that the development of China-EU relations is faced with a new start point. Given that both sides are undertaking greater responsibility in the international affairs and have their own needs for their own economic development, China and the EU should and can become closer strategic cooperation partners. Wen proposed four-point suggestions on further deepening the bilateral cooperation. First, to strengthen political exchanges and strategic cooperation. Both sides should continue to maintain the current momentum of the exchange of high-level visits, reinforce the role of the bilateral high-level coordination mechanism, establish the China-EU strategic dialogue mechanism at the earliest date possible and study the signing of the cooperation agreement on the new-generation partnership between both China and the EU. Second, to enhance the cooperation in various areas. Both sides should actively adjust the trade mix and encourage the two-way investment. Focus should be put on supporting the scientific and technological cooperation in the areas of energy resources, environmental protection, IT and space. The dialogue and cooperation mechanism should be established in education, health, culture, tourism and other areas. Both sides should vigorously encourage and support the exchanges and communication between their academic and research institutions, media and youngsters. Third, to jointly shoulder the important task of safeguarding the world peace and development and strengthen the consultation and cooperation on counter-terrorism, anti-proliferation, combating organized crimes, climatic changes, sustainable development, poverty reduction and regional hot-point issues as well. Fourth, to appropriately address the issues of common concern. Both sides should objectively look at and properly handle the China-EU trade friction, distinguish between the essentials and the nonessentials, give play to the advantage of mutual complementarity and pursue mutual benefits.

Blair noted that the extensive and in-depth EU-China strategic partnership is of great significance to the interest of the people and economic development of both sides. The EU is satisfied with the progress of the bilateral relations. The EU will continue to adopt the one-China policy. He agreed with Wen's four-point suggestions and hoped that both sides will take practical measures in the areas of politics, economy, science and technology, culture, environmental protection and education to push for the development of bilateral strategic partnership.

Barroso indicated that to develop the strategic partnership with China is one of the major tasks of the EU's foreign relations and the EU is determined to continue to advance the bilateral relations and discuss the expansion of cooperation areas. Both sides should take substantive steps to enrich the cooperation contents.

The EU side noted that the EU-China cooperation is advancing with a larger scale and it's unavoidable that there are some differences and difficulties between both sides. The EU hopes to address the related issues through the joint efforts. To develop a stronger partnership between the EU and China will be beneficial to jointly enhancing the living standards of both peoples and is a contribution to the world peace and development.

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