Li: China-Europe 2020 plan 'unprecedented'

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 22, 2013
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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday described as "unprecedented" a plan for bilateral cooperation between China and Europe.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso attend a joint press conference after the 16th China-EU leaders' meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 21, 2013. [Yao Dawei/Xinhua]

"The plan is unprecedented in its breadth of content, ranging from aerospace and counter-piracy to urbanization and energy," Li told reporters after a 90-minute summit with European leaders at the Great Hall of the People, attended by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Li called the plan a "roadmap" for China-Europe cooperation until 2020, and said talks were planned on an investment protocol between the two sides.

Barroso was delighted by the plan for 2020, calling it strategic and detailed.

The two sides will also discuss the feasibility of a free-trade agreement and work towards the goal of increasing bilateral trade to one trillion U.S. dollars by 2020.

"All these moves will significantly boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation," Li said.

"Trade and investment issues remain high on our agenda and we have made a substantial step forward by launching negotiations on an investment agreement, covering both investment protection and market access," Rompuy said. "A level playing field, transparency and confidence in the rule of law are essential on both sides for business to thrive."

Both sides agreed to keep their markets open, oppose protectionism and deal with trade disputes through dialogue and friendly consultation. They will take effective measures to expand bilateral trade on high-technology.

They will work more closely on transportation and infrastructure, cooperate on science and technological innovation, while developing new energy sources and materials together.

The two sides will give full play to their high-level cultural communication and dialogue mechanism to expand exchanges in areas including education, culture, youth and public policy.

They also vowed to strengthen cooperation on international and regional issues, such as the climate change, internet security, arms control and nonproliferation.

In China-Europe relations, common ground outweighs differences, Li said, attributing those differences to their histories, cultures and development stages.

"Any problem in China-Europe relations can be resolved as long as we increase communication and enhance understanding," Li said.

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