China and the European Union (EU) inaugurated a high-level conference on energy resources in Brussels Thursday, aimed at strengthening bilateral energy cooperation.
"Energy cooperation between the EU and China has seen significant progress in the past two decades since the first conference held in Brussels in 1994," said Cao Jianlin, Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, in an opening address.
Cao said the EU and China have achieved preliminary results in cooperation for a complementary relationship, global energy security and environmental protection.
The biennial conference, which will last two days, focuses on energy technologies, in order to provide solutions to the numerous challenges that China and the EU face today in the global energy market.
Issues such as energy efficiency, renewable energies, hydrogen energy and fuel cells, gas hydrates, carbon capture and storage, and nuclear energy are to be discussed this year.
"The conference is a tangible sign of the increasing practical cooperation in the energy sector between China and the EU," said Matthias Ruete, the director general for Energy and Transport at the European Commission.
The Commission said several initiatives on intensifying bilateral energy cooperation are under negotiation since the last conference in Shanghai, China in 2006.
Ruete said EU and Chinese leaders agreed at a bilateral summit last year to set up the EU-China Clean Energy Center in Beijing, and both sides are now ready to sign a final agreement.
Meanwhile, a Euro-Chinese Institute for Clean and Renewable Energy is also in the pipeline.
(Xinhua News Agency November 7, 2008)