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China, EU Pledge to Boost Cooperation

The sixth China-EU leaders' meeting was held in Beijing Thursday, and leaders from the two sides vowed to boost the cooperation between China and the European Union (EU).

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, in his capacity as President of the European Council, President of the European Commission Romano Prodi and High Representative for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana attended the summit.


Wen said developing the China-EU relations is in the fundamental interest of both sides and would bring about mutual benefit.


China-EU relations should be developed from the long-term strategic perspective, Wen said.


The premier said that the EU has issued five strategic papers on its policy towards China and the Chinese side has recently issued its first EU policy paper.


He said the bilateral trade volume has grown sharply and that during the first three quarters of this year hit 89.06 billion US dollars, up 41.5 percent over the same period of last year and surpassing the figure of the whole year in 2002.


As for the EU itself, the premier said it is a vital political force and economy across the world and it has played an important role in the international arena.


China has always supported the integration process of the EU and wished it to be strong and prosperous, he said, noting that China is willing to enhance cooperation in various fields.


The premier thus put forward a four-point proposal: to keep frequent exchanges of high-level visits; to deepen trade and economic cooperation; to set up an effective cooperation mechanism; and to eliminate barriers hindering the healthy growth of the China-EU relations.


Berlusconi spoke highly of China's contribution to world stability and the EU-China cooperation.


He reiterated that the member states of the EU adhere to the one China policy and they would continue to conduct comprehensive cooperation with China.


Prodi said the EU is willing to strengthen the political dialogue with China and take full advantages of mutual complementarity in various fields like economy, science, culture and education, so as to create a new situation for bilateral cooperation.

Solana said as vital forces in the international arena, both the EU and China face the same challenges, and enhancing cooperation benefits both sides.


After the meeting, the two sides signed three agreements and cooperation documents, including an agreement on Galileo satellite navigation cooperation and a memorandum of understanding on the EU becoming an approved tourist destination.


(Xinhua News Agency October 31, 2003)

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