Foreign and Military Affairs

Packed agenda of meetings lies ahead for China, EU

Updated: 2011-03-18 08:06

By Fu Jing (China Daily)

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BRUSSELS - European Council President Herman Van Rompuy will visit China in the middle of this year to further strengthen the partnership between Beijing and Brussels.

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In addition to Rompuy's visit, European External Action Service Managing Director for Asia Viorel Isticioaia-Budura said China and EU are scheduled to hold their annual summit in China at the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Hu Jintao is expected to attend the G20 summit in November in France where discussions will focus on trade, the global financial system and climate change.

Song Zhe, Chinese ambassador to the European Union, told a seminar organized by the European Parliament that "a number of high-level meetings in the first half of this year" will continue the sound momentum of the bilateral relationship.

Given that China has made public its new Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) and the EU has started to implement its development strategy toward 2020, both Chinese and European officials said Brussels and Beijing should grasp the opportunities to deepen their economic and political relationship.

Isticioaia-Budura, a former Romanian ambassador to China and now a senior "China hand" in the EU, said the implementation of China's new Five-Year Plan, which was recently approved at the annual session of the National People's Congress, will meet the expectations of its foreign partners, including the EU.

He said China will transform its economic development pattern and further facilitate global trade, which will offer tremendous opportunities for EU member states and companies.

"Given that China and the EU will both adhere to green growth in the future, there are huge opportunities for European companies which have interests and experiences in China market," said Isticioaia-Budura, adding that high-tech and green European companies should expand their investment in China.

Song urged the EU to further relax its export controls on high-tech products and technologies to China and promised that Beijing will further improve its measures to protect intellectual property rights.

"This is not only answering your expectations (in intellectual property rights protection) we are also doing it for our own interests, because China is planning to transform itself into a global science and innovation power," said Song, adding that China has already made rapid progress in this regard.

Song said the relaxing of export controls by the EU would also be helpful in achieving more balanced bilateral trade.

"We don't seek a trade surplus. We are seeking balanced trade. We need joint efforts to solve trade problems," Song said.

He also expected both sides to encourage tourism to enhance people-to-people exchange. Statistics indicated that last year about 1.5 million European tourists visited China, and 1 million Chinese people traveled to Europe.


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