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Energy, environment major issues for Sino-EU relations
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French Ambassador to China Herve Ladsous said in Beijing on Monday the major issues for Sino-European Union relations in the next six months would still be energy and environment problems.

"The two major topics will be reflected particularly on the discussion schedules of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be held in Beijing in October and the China-EU summit held in France at this year end," said Herve Ladsous at a press conference on Monday.

"The two meetings are of great importance for the orientation of Sino-EU relations in future."

With France being the rotating chairman of the EU since July 1, it had four major tasks during its term -- climate change response, joint agriculture policy pushing, new emigration policy practicing and national defence policy making, Ladsous said.

"Although the policies are targeting the EU mostly, their influences are across the world, making extensive connections with China. Thus it is quite necessary to cooperate with China on these issues."

On the China arms embargo by the EU, Ladsous said the ban should be lifted to match with the intimate relations between the two sides though "it was hard to reach consensus by 27 European countries in a short time." He added France would promote the lifting during and after its term.

As for the acknowledgement for China's market economy, France and other European countries would keep on discussing and researching on the condition and protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), Ladsous said.

"The EU is the first large trade partner for China, and we attach great importance for the trade cooperation between the two sides."

He also pointed out the main trade friction between the two lay in the continuing rising deficit on the EU side and its worries about China's IPR protection.

(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2008)

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