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EU Leaders in Beijing for China-EU Summit

British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Beijing this morning to attend the eighth China-EU summit that starts today. He is scheduled to meet with Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday.

José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, arrived in Beijing on Sunday morning.

EU Council Secretary-General Javier Solana Madariaga arrived this morning. During his one-day stay in Beijing, Solana will attend the summit and meet with Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan. Besides Beijing, he will also be visiting Shanghai, China's economic hub.

During the summit, Premier Wen and the EU leaders will exchange views on the further development of the China-EU all-round strategic partnership as well as international and regional issues of common concern. President Hu Jintao will also meet with the EU delegation, according to sources with the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

From the EU standpoint, Serge Abou, ambassador of the EU delegation of the European Commission, said the summit would present several achievements.

Several agreements are expected to be sealed in such fields as employment and social benefits, space exploration, geographical indication and maritime transport.

On Friday, Christopher Hum, British ambassador to China, said that China and Britain would sign agreements worth US$2.4 billion in the fields of aerospace technology and banking following the Tuesday meeting between Blair and Wen.

Hum noted a business delegation of 37 people, mainly chief executive officers of British companies, will join Blair's entourage. They represent a wide range of companies in areas such as banking, insurance, manufacturing, engineering and retailing.

In 2003, China and the EU agreed to the development of their all-round strategic partnership. In 2004, the EU surpassed the US as China's largest trade partner with a bilateral trade volume of US$177.28 billion, up 33.6 percent year-on-year.

(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2005)

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