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EU hails development of full Sino-European partnership
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The European Union(EU) hailed the full development of partnership between China and the 27-member bloc in a statement following the successful conclusion of the 10th China-EU Leaders' Meeting held Wednesday in Beijing.


"Over the last ten years, the EU and China have forged links in many areas such as research, education, energy, environment, transport and tourism," said the statement by the European Commission (EC), the bloc's executive arm.


"The tenth EU-China summit reflected on the EU's positive relationship with China, but also raised current issues such as climate change, security of energy supply and African development. As well as common interests, the EU and China also have shared responsibilities in these areas," the statement added.


It hailed as a "key summit achievement" the signing of a loan to combat climate change in China.


Despite differences over issues such as the EU trade deficit with China, Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso "insisted on the need to reassure the public about China, which should not be perceived as a threat," the statement said.


The two sides expressed satisfaction with "the progress of the negotiations" on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which started in January and aimed at replacing the outdated 1985 Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement.


The yearly Sino-European summit was attended by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Jose Socrates of Portugal, which currently holds rotating presidency of the European Union, and EC chief Barroso.


During the two-hour summit meeting, both sides agreed to properly handle the disputes through dialogue and negotiation in efforts to seek balance of trade and push forward the China-EU relations to a new height.


Just before the China-EU Leaders' Meeting on Wednesday afternoon, the Chinese premier told the 4th China-EU Business Summit: "We have and will continue to put in place measures aiming at expanding imports and promoting a more balanced bilateral trade."


On the same day, Socrates said the EU-China strategic partnership benefits Europe, China and the world, and the EU appreciates China's active role in solving the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue and other major international and regional issues.


Meanwhile, Barroso said the EU hopes to continuously add momentum to the EU-China dialogue mechanism, and solve the issues of common concern through joint efforts.


The EU is the largest trade partner and export market for China, whereas China is the EU's second largest trading partner. Bilateral trade volume has quadrupled over the past decade and is expected to exceed 330 billion U.S. dollars this year.


(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2007)

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