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Concerted efforts pledged to promote China-EU relations
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended the 11th China-EU summit with European leaders in Prague on Wednesday, focusing on bilateral strategic partnership, the global financial crisis and climate change.

The two sides reached a number of consensus at the summit which will play an active role in promoting a sustainable development of bilateral relations in an in-depth and all-around way.

Premier Wen stayed in Prague for a mere of five hours, but needed a 20-hour flight to go forth and back, indicating his sincerity, responsibility and confidence in meeting with the EU leaders.

Sincerity, responsibility and confidence are crucial in pushing forward the comprehensive China-EU strategic partnership, which is the experience drawn from the past and the need of reality.

Under the complex international political and economic situation, the China-EU relations have gone beyond the bilateral scope and bears more international significance.

China and the EU enjoy a solid basis in continuing cooperation and meeting challenges jointly.

Up to now, the two sides have set up more than 50 consultation and dialogue mechanisms covering political, trade, scientific, energy and environmental areas.

It is notworthy that the China-EU trade volume exceeded 425 billion US. dollars in 2008 in face of global slump, representing a 19.5-percent growth over the previous year.

At a time when the raging financial storm hit the world, the major tune for bilateral ties should be mutual support.

Just as what EU Commission President Jose Barroso described, China is a "crucial partner" in international efforts to counter global challenges, such as the economic and financial crisis and climate change.

Chanllenge also generates opportunities while posing danger to the world. When the financial crisis is raging, it also serves as a opportunity for both sides to forge stronger ties.

During the just concluded 11th China-EU summit in Prague, the two sides signed three agreements on cooperation in clean energy, science and technology, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Wen also announced at the summit that China will send another buying mission to the EU to increase imports from Europe, a pragmatic action of China to fight against protectionism. It also signals Beijing's confidence to jointly tackle the global financial crisis with EU partners.

As the world's largest developing country and the largest bloc of developed nations respectively, China and EU need to develop steadily by clearing obstacles first, thanks to the fact that both sides enjoy huge potential and broad prospects for further cooperation.

EU should recognize China's market economy status as soon as possible, loosen its control over export restrictions on high-tech products and lift its arms embargo to China, measures which will be conducive to nurturing new growth engines for trade and economic cooperation and expanding fields of cooperation.

Since the first China-EU summit in 1998, the international political and economic situation has experienced profound changes. In this context, the strategic and mutually beneficial partnership between the two sides has been expanded rapidly, further deepened and consolidated.

As the China-EU Summit enters a new decade, it is believed that the China-EU relations will constantly move ahead as long as both sides work together in a forward-looking manner, adhere to the principle of mutual respect, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, take into consideration of each other's core concerns and properly handle sensitive issues to refrain from harming bilateral ties by individual incidents.

(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2009)

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