EU-China talks focus on trade, climate and international peace

14.02.2012 - 15:51

The European Union and China reaffirmed their commitment to trade liberalisation, climate change, energy and technology development and human rights at the fourteenth EU-China Summit in Beijing on 14 February.

European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy, and European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, attended the summit on behalf of the European Union. They met with Premier Wen Jaibao of the People’s Republic of China.

The three leaders discussed their common interests in protecting human rights and battling climate change, as well as liberalizing international trade and promoting peace throughout the world.

In a statement following the meeting, Barroso said that in addition to reaffirming the strong relationship between the EU and China, the leaders had developed several new initiatives and partnerships.

One of these is the China-EU Partnership on Sustainable Urbanisation, planned to create better coordination in the green economy, urban planning, energy, water and air quality and lower carbon emissions.

Barroso also talked about the need for a better investment and business climate for entrepreneurs and businesses wanting to expand in both the EU and China. He called for more openness in trade and economic relations between the two in order to foster this growth in business.

In order to do this, the EU and China will soon begin negotiations on an agreement that would encourage investment in both directions. He said that in these discussions the EU will listen to Chinese concerns while pushing for greater market access.

The EU is China's biggest trading partner, exporting €113 billion to China in 2010 and importing €283bn in 2010.

According to a statement released after the event, the EU and Chinese leaders discussed international issues of contention, including the Iran nuclear program and the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Along with Russia, China recently blocked the passage of a resolution in the UN that would have condemned the violence in Syria.

Barroso did not comment further on what was said on these topics between himself, Van Rompuy and Jaibao. He concluded his remarks by reiterating the importance that the relationship between the two entities has had to both.

Our partnership is one of the most important in the world today,” he said. “Since the establishment of our formal relations we have learned from each other, contributed to each other’s development, and set the basis for further development.”