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A Lot on the Plate for Sino-EU Summit

The European Union expects the Sixth EU-China Summit to be held in Beijing this Thursday will strengthen the maturing partnership between the two sides, said Klaus Ebermann, head of the Delegation of the European Commission to China.

"I believe the summit will be fruitful," Ebermann said Monday in Beijing.

The summit will be the first meeting of leaders from both sides since China issued its policy paper on EU relations, and the EU approved its strategy for relations with China. It will also be their first summit since the new Chinese leadership came to power, earlier this year.

The EU will be represented by the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, in his role as President of the European Council, President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, and the EU's High Representative for External Affairs Javier Solana.

The Chinese side will be led by Premier Wen Jiabao. The European leaders will also meet Chinese President Hu Jintao.

At the summit, EU and Chinese leaders will exchange views on current internal developments, with a particular emphasis on EU integration and enlargement processes, and the implementation of China's ongoing economic and social reforms.

Both sides will hold discussions on a wide range of topics including international issues of common concern, human rights, trade, cooperation in economic and social reform, and transnational challenges.

This year, the situation in the Korean Peninsula will certainly be on the agenda, as will developments in Myanmar and the situation in Iraq, Ebermann said.

Cooperation in the field of science and technology will also be high on the agenda, with the expected signing of the agreement for China's participation in Galileo-- Europe's satellite system for radio navigation.

Both sides will also review the progress made in bilateral negotiations to make the EU an authorized destination for Chinese visitors.

Commissioner Pascal Lamy, responsible for Trade, will be part of the EU delegation, and will use the opportunity to review EU-China trade relations.

(China Daily October 28, 2003)

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