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Chinese and European Leaders Hold the Seventh China-EU Summit in The Hague

On the morning of December 8, 2004, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council hosted the Seventh China-EU Summit with Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende of the Netherlands, which holds the rotating EU presidency, President Jose Manuel Barroso of the EU Commission and Secretary General & High Representative for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Javier Solana in The Hague, the Netherlands. Both sides indicated the will of joining forces to constantly enrich and develop the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Wen Jiabao noted that since the establishment of China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership last year, China-EU relations have witnessed a series of new and important developments. The strategic consensus shared by the two sides on major international issues is further growing, which is manifested in part by the signing of the Joint Statement on Non-Proliferation and Arms Control. China-EU economic and trade cooperation has been developing continuously and the bilateral trade volume is expected to exceed 150 billion U.S. dollars, a goal that was put forward last year but will probably be accomplished 3 years ahead of the 4-year schedule. The two sides have implemented smoothly the Galileo cooperation program and reached agreement on cooperation in such high-tech fields as peaceful use of nuclear energy and space. Cultural exchanges and cooperation in education are unprecedentedly active and the implementation of the China-EU ADS agreement has given a further impetus to personnel exchanges between the two sides.

Wen said that to develop China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership is a correct choice for both sides and the partnership boasts great space for development. To further upgrade the level of China-EU relations, China would like to make the following proposals:

First, the two sides should maintain the momentum of top-level two-way visits, enhance dialogue and continue the close consultation and coordination on UN reforms, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, regional hot spots and development issues. Second, to better implement the consensus reached at China-EU summits and enrich the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, China has set up its Coordination Group on Relations with the EU and hopes that the EU can also set up a counterpart group of equivalent high level so as to make joint plans for development of China-EU relations. Third, the two sides should expand trade and investment scale, promote trade in technologies and encourage two-way investment so as to become each other's largest trade partner at the earliest possible date. The two sides should actively conduct dialogue on macro-economy and economic and trade policies, give play to the effective role of the consultation mechanism and properly address economic and trade disputes. Fourth, the two sides should expand cooperation in environmental protection, information, transportation and energy, especially in clean energy, renewable energy and environment-friendliness of energy, and enhance research and cooperation in such high-tech fields as space and the prevention and control of major diseases. Fifth, the two sides should continue boosting cultural and educational exchanges and expand people-to-people contacts. The two sides should support the setting up of a China-EU Culture Forum to strengthen dialogue between high-level educational officials and promote the exchanges between each other's university students, high-level professionals and research institutions. Sixth, the two sides should actively explore the possibility of negotiating and signing a new generation of partner agreements to adapt to and promote the development of China-EU relations.

Wen also expressed appreciation to the European side for repeatedly reiterating its adherence to the one-China policy, hoping that the EU will lift the arms embargo on China and recognize the complete market economy status of China as early as possible.

Both Balkenende and Barroso held that EU-China cooperation has registered new and important progress over the past year, with the strategic partnership between the two sides going mature and China becoming one of EU's major cooperation partners. The EU leaders gave active responses to the proposals by Wen on upgrading the level of China-EU relations. Balkenende was of the opinion that the proposals cover a vast spectrum of cooperation between the two sides and are very constructive and of great significance to strengthening EU-China relations. He indicated that the EU is making efforts to resolve the issue of the arms embargo on China. Barroso declared that the EU is going to set up a coordination group to enhance communication and cooperation with China. EU Trade Commissioner Mandelson said that the EU appreciates the achievements of China in building a market economy, is willing to make efforts to address the concerns of China over its market economy status and welcomes Chinese businesses to expand investment in Europe. Solana reaffirmed that the EU would stick to the one-China policy, stressing that this position will not have any change.

The two sides also exchanged views on current major international issues.

Following the talks, Wen and the EU leaders attended together the signing ceremony for a number of cooperation documents between China and the EU, including the China-EU Joint Statement on Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, Agreement on Cooperation in Research and Development on Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy, Follow-up Agreement to the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, Agreement on Customs Cooperation and Financial Agreement. The two sides also issued a joint statement on the summit (the full text of the joint statement will be released separately).

When Wen and the EU leaders jointly met journalists, both sides spoke highly of the broad consensus reached at the summit and the new achievements made in the bilateral cooperation, vowing unanimously to renew their joint efforts to constantly push forward the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, enhance coordination and cooperation between the two sides in international affairs and make active contributions to safeguarding world peace and development.

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