The summit between leaders of China and the European Union (EU),
scheduled for next week in Beijing, will have a far-reaching impact
on the development of China's ties with the 27-nation bloc, China's
EU Ambassador Guan Chengyuan said.
"This meeting, like previous ones, will definitely push forward
mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the EU in all
sectors and bring far-reaching impact on future development of the
comprehensive strategic partnership," Guan told Xinhua in an
Such summit meetings, the first of which took place in London in
1998, have become "an important mechanism" to enhance mutual
understanding, reduce disputes, increase mutual trust and advance
cooperation, Guan said.
Both China and the EU attach great importance to the 10th
summit, which will focus on reviewing progress achieved in the past
ten years and mapping out a plan for the next decade, the
Both sides agree that it serves the interests of China and the
EU to have more coordination, consultation and cooperation in a
complicated and fast-changing world and work together in
safeguarding peace and stability and promoting development and
prosperity, Guan said.
Guan described China-EU relations as "stable in the long term"
and "increasingly mature and pragmatic." "The two sides have
managed to handle their relations with a strategic vision, rather
than being swayed by any given circumstance," he said.
Cooperation between China and the EU is developing smoothly in
all fields, Guan said. "The growth in trade is amazing," he said,
adding that the trade volume is expected to hit 340 billion U.S.
dollars this year, compared to only 77.6 billion dollars ten years
Tourism has been booming since China and the EU signed an
agreement on "Approved Destination Status" in 2004. The number of
European tourists going to China rose to 3 million a year while
that of Chinese tourists to Europe reached 1 million last year,
Guan said. "This contributes to promoting mutual
The ambassador also noted that as China-EU relations register
rapid growth, there are some problems and disputes. He stressed
that China "would never make concessions on issues of national
sovereignty and territorial integrity," and that "China's core
interests should be respected."
On the lifting of the EU's arms embargo against China and
recognition of China's market economy status, Guan expressed the
hope that the EU will make good on its promise and resolve the
issues at an early date.
"An early settlement is conducive to the sound development of
China-EU relations," he said.
Guan cited trade imbalance, intellectual property protection and
market access as EU's major concerns. "China believes these issues
should be worked out by adopting a rational and pragmatic
approach," he said.
Guan called the EU's calculation of trade imbalance as "unfair,"
and said China's trade surplus with the EU is "not as high as the
EU has claimed."
"We do not seek trade surplus, and the imbalance in bilateral
trade needs to be solved as trade grows, adding balance of payment
has long been in EU's favor and only in recent years did the EU
increase its imports from China because of its industrial
Both sides should consider each other's interests to achieve a
win-win result, Guan added.
Guan said the Chinese government has taken many measures to
protect intellectual property rights and expressed his hope the EU
can offer advice and experience in this regard.
On market access, Guan said China is honoring its commitment to
the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the annual WTO review
reports have given "very high marks " for China's performance.
Guan urged the EU to be patient. "The EU appears impatient and
has raised some demands that have gone far beyond China's WTO
commitments. This is unrealistic," he said.
A recent survey by the EU Chamber of Commerce in China showed
that 90 percent of the European enterprises make profits in China
and they are willing to invest more.
"This shows China's investment environment is good and the
country is making continued efforts to improve it," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2007)