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France urged to create good conditions for EU summit
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China on Thursday demanded France create a good atmosphere for the China-EU summit that was postponed because of a planned meeting between Tibetan secessionist the Dalai Lama, and French President, Nicholas Sarkozy.

"The convening of the 11th China-EU Summit depends on whether France, which holds the rotating EU presidency, will take proper measures to create the necessary and good conditions and atmosphere for the summit," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular briefing.

Qin's comments came in response to questions about when and on what conditions would the China-EU summit be held.

The annual summit was originally scheduled to take place in France in early December. But as the French leader announced earlier this month that he would meet with the Dalai Lama after it, China had to postpone the summit following futile attempts to persuade France not to go ahead.

"The current situation is not caused by China, nor should China be held responsible for it," Qin said.

Stressing that the Tibet issue is related to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and concerns China's core interest, Qin said, "The Chinese government and people resolutely oppose the Dalai Lama's separatist activities in any countries in whatever capacity, and the contact between foreign leaders with him in whatever form."

"China has not changed its determination and policy to actively develop its ties with the EU," Qin said.

The spokesman reaffirmed China was still willing to work together with the EU from the long term perspective, to push forward the healthy and stable development of China-EU relations on the basis of mutual respect on an equal footing.

"Under the current situation, it is imperative for China and EU to jointly address global challenges, including the financial crisis, food and energy security and climate change," Qin said.

Qin said China cherished the ties with France and has been making active and unremitting efforts to develop bilateral relations.

"We hope that France could proceed from the overall interest, and properly deal with China's major concerns in earnest so as to create conditions for the steady and sound development of bilateral relations."

(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2008)

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