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The way forward after forty years of China-EU cooperation

Updated: Jul 1,2015 10:48 AM

1.Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, met in Brussels for the 17th China-EU Summit.

2.Celebrating the 40th anniversary of China-EU diplomatic relations, the Leaders acknowledged that the relationship has made significant strides in the political, economic, social, environmental and cultural fields. The EU supported China’s commitment to deepening reform comprehensively as well as China’s goal of building up a moderately prosperous society in all respects. China expressed its support for the EU’s efforts in promoting growth, investment and regulatory reform plans.

3.Both sides stressed the importance they attach to the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in promoting peace, prosperity and sustainable development for the benefit of all. They reaffirmed their commitment to deepening their partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilisation, based on the principles of mutual respect, trust, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation, by comprehensively implementing the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.

4.Both sides fully recognised the progress achieved in the implementation of the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. A bilateral review mechanism at officials’ level will be established to monitor follow-up. Both sides agreed at this Summit on a set of priorities to reinforce their bilateral cooperation and enhance the global dimension of their strategic partnership.

5.Both sides confirmed their strong interest in each other’s flagship initiatives, namely the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” (The Belt and Road Initiative) and the Investment Plan for Europe. Leaders decided to support synergies between these initiatives, and directed the China-EU High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue in September to develop practical avenues for mutually beneficial co-operation, including through a possible China-EU co-investment vehicle.

6.China and the EU agreed to improve their infrastructure links. They decided to establish a new Connectivity Platform and to convene its first meeting as soon as possible in order to (i) share information, promote seamless traffic flows and transport facilitation, and develop synergies between their relevant initiatives and projects; (ii) identify co-operation opportunities between their respective policies and sources of funding, including the The Belt and Road Initiative and Trans-European Networks, and; (iii) actively explore business and investment opportunities open to both China and the European side, and; (iv) create a favourable environment for sustainable and inter-operable cross-border infrastructure networks in countries and regions between China and the EU.

7.Both sides welcomed the conclusion of negotiations on the Articles of Agreement for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and recognised the support rendered by the EU and its Member States. They stressed that the AIIB should complement the existing multilateral development banks in addressing Asia’s extensive needs for infrastructure investment in a sustainable manner, and anticipated that it will begin operating at an early date. The EU looked forward to co-operating with the AIIB in the future.

8.Both sides stressed the high importance of close economic, monetary and financial cooperation, and expressed satisfaction with progress made in the China-EU Economic and Financial Dialogue and the Working Group between the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and the European Central Bank (ECB).

9.Both sides acknowledged the key role of the digital economy in their societies and the importance of close cooperation in that field, and agreed to deepen dialogues and cooperation in areas of ICT. To this purpose the China-EU High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue will dedicate part of its September 2015 meeting in Beijing to the digital economy.

10.China and the EU view the ongoing investment agreement negotiations as one of the most important issues in China-EU bilateral economic and trade relations. While welcoming the progress made so far, the two sides are determined to intensify their efforts aiming at the expeditious conclusion of an ambitious and comprehensive Investment Agreement. This Agreement shall include investment protection, market access and other elements further facilitating investment. The priority for the negotiating teams is now to seek convergence on the scope of the Agreement and establish a joint text by the end of 2015. Negotiating and concluding such a comprehensive China-EU Investment Agreement will convey both sides’ joint commitment towards stronger cooperation as well as their willingness to envisage broader ambitions including, once the conditions are right, towards a deep and comprehensive FTA, as a longer term perspective.

11.Both sides reaffirmed their shared commitment to an open global economy and a fair, transparent and rules-based trade and investment environment, guaranteeing a level playing field and opposing protectionism. Both sides will make full use of the existing bilateral mechanisms to strengthen communication, handle major bilateral trade frictions through dialogue and consultation as a preferred option, and, if needed, through negotiations, with an objective of finding mutually beneficial solutions.

12.Both sides agreed to work for the rapid resolution of outstanding issues in order to strive for the early conclusion of the negotiations on a comprehensive Geographical Indications agreement.

13.Both sides reconfirmed the importance of the China-EU IP Dialogue and applauded the progress achieved in the past 10 years. They reconfirmed their commitment to reinforcing cooperation on the protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property. They welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on reinforcing the China-EU IP Dialogue Mechanism, which upgrades the IP Dialogue Mechanism to vice-ministerial level, requests the Dialogue Mechanism to report progress to the China-EU High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue, and sets combating online counterfeiting and piracy as a priority.

14.China and the EU confirmed their commitment to implement the Strategic Framework for Customs Cooperation and the importance of enhancing customs connectivity, implementing mutual recognition of Authorised Economic Operators and fighting against customs fraud, in order to facilitate and accelerate trade and combat illicit flows of goods.

15.Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the G20 as the premier forum for international economic co-operation. The EU expressed its support for the Chinese chair of the 2016 G20 Summit and the successful implementation of the G20 comprehensive growth strategies, employment plans and other agreed initiatives. China and the EU reaffirmed their commitment to following WTO rules and to strengthening the multilateral trading system under the WTO by concluding the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), including the entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

by the December 2015 WTO Ministerial Conference. Both sides agreed to work further together to attain concrete outcomes in multilateral and all plurilateral negotiations.

16.Leaders reaffirmed the importance of cooperation in the area of research and innovation as a driver for economic and social development and a key element of China-EU relations. They welcomed the outcome of the High Level Innovation Cooperation Dialogue held in the margins of the Summit. They agreed to work together to harness each other’s comparative advantages in such areas as innovation policy, mobility and training of researchers, commercialisation of R&D results, technology dissemination and sharing of research facilities and framework conditions for innovation. It was agreed to set up a mechanism for jointly financing research and innovation projects in areas of mutual interest, as well as to promote and monitor reciprocity of access to China and the EU’s respective research and innovation funding programmes.

17.Both sides welcomed the deepening of the China-EU Urbanisation Partnership, with active co- operation in urban planning and design, public services, green buildings and smart transportation, and agreed to launch new joint programmes involving Chinese and EU cities and companies. They encouraged both sides to strengthen their dialogue on regional policies, and to promote pragmatic and effective co-operation by expanding the scope of regions involved in pilot projects, and deepening co-operation on twinning.

18.China and the EU agreed to enhance cooperation to address key environmental challenges such as air, water and soil pollution. They will also reinforce their cooperation in line with the China Europe Water Platform Work Programme (2015-2017).

19.Both sides recognised that climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity, and that they play critical roles in addressing global climate issues. The two sides adopted a separate joint statement.

20.China and the EU expressed their commitment to cooperate in the field of energy in order to tackle jointly the multiple challenges related to energy security, global energy architecture, climate change and environmental degradation. In order to take their cooperation forward, the two parties agreed to prepare an energy cooperation roadmap for signature in the coming months.

21.China and the EU acknowledged that people-to-people exchanges, including cooperation in the areas of culture, higher education, youth, multilingualism and gender equality are vital to deepen mutual understanding, foster innovation and creativity, and enhance contacts between the peoples of both sides. They agreed to hold the 3rd round of the China-EU High Level People-to-People Dialogue in September 2015 in Brussels. Both sides supported the development of China-EU cooperation on sustainable tourism.

22.Both sides welcomed the agreement on the minutes of the second round of the China-EU Migration and Mobility Dialogue with the roadmap for relevant agreements and arrangements, and launched the immediate implementation of that roadmap. This roadmap includes, in the first stage to be completed by the end of 2015, negotiation and signing of a mutual visa waiver agreement for diplomatic passport holders, the opening of visa application centres in mutually agreed Chinese cities without consular presence as specified in the roadmap, and launching practical cooperation in combating illegal migration, and, in the second stage, negotiation of agreements on visa facilitation and cooperation in combating illegal migration.

23.Both sides shared the view that it is necessary to deepen understanding of each other’s legal systems, and agreed to establish a China-EU Legal Affairs Dialogue for policy exchanges, mutual learning and cooperation in legal affairs.

24.The two sides welcomed the recent contacts between China’s Ministry of Public Security and Europol as a step towards reinforcing China-EU co-operation in combating transnational crime.

25.Both sides reasserted their commitment to enhancing their consultations and cooperation on foreign and security policy in the framework of the China-EU High Level Strategic Dialogue, continuing regular exchanges on Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Latin America as well as disarmament and non-proliferation. They agreed to enhance their exchanges on anti-terrorism at the bilateral and multilateral level.

26.Both sides agreed to further develop their cooperation on defence and security, building on their successful anti-piracy joint exercises in the Gulf of Aden. The forthcoming visit of the Chinese Defence Minister to Brussels will provide the opportunity to enhance cooperation in new areas of common interest, including support for peace and security in Africa.

27.In the context of the United Nations’ 70th anniversary, China and the EU reiterated the importance of building a stronger and more effective multilateral system based on the UN Charter and international law to face increasing global challenges and promote the peaceful settlement of international disputes. Both sides committed to develop further their bilateral exchanges and cooperation on peace and security under the UN umbrella.

28.China and the EU agreed to enhance exchanges on human rights at the bilateral and international level on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and confirmed their readiness to cooperate under the UN human rights mechanisms. Both sides agreed to hold the next round of their Human Rights Dialogue in China in November, and looked forward to the visit of the EU Special Representative for Human Rights to China in the same month.

29.China and the EU agreed to further strengthen their cooperation to ensure a successful outcome to the post-2015 development agenda through intergovernmental negotiations. Both sides look forward to a successful and practical outcome to support the implementation of this agenda at the 3rd Financing for Development Conference. China and the EU committed to enhance exchanges on best practice regarding issues such as climate change, environment/biodiversity, global health and infrastructure in their respective development assistance policies. They agreed to explore operational development coordination in synergy with local partners, including in Africa.

30.This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the founding of United Nations. China and Europe are amongst those who built and maintained the post-World War II international order based on the UN Charter. They will continue to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter, and their universality, and work actively for peace, development and human rights in international relations, the rule of law in international governance, and a more equitable international order.

31.Both China and the EU are convinced that the conflict in Ukraine can only be solved by diplomatic means and through full respect for international law. They called on all sides to fully assume their responsibility and to implement their commitments under the Minsk agreements. On Afghanistan, the two sides emphasised their support for an “Afghan led and Afghan owned” peace and reconciliation process. China and the EU agreed that efforts should continue towards addressing the acute crises in Syria, Libya and Yemen by working towards negotiated political solutions under the aegis of the United Nations.

32.China and the EU emphasised that they share common interests in peacefully resolving the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic means, to contribute to long term peace and stability in the region. They reiterated their commitment to work for the early attainment of a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that ensures the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, and commended the positive progress to this end in the E3/EU+3 nuclear negotiations, co-ordinated by the European Union.

33.Leaders of the two sides congratulated each other on the success of the 10th China-EU Business Summit, the 2015 China-EU Urbanisation Partnership Forum, the 2nd China-EU Innovation Cooperation Dialogue, the 6th China-EU Dialogue on Information Technology, Telecommunication and Information, the 10th Round of the IP Dialogue on the occasion of its 10th anniversary which took place on the occasion of the Summit. They applauded the important joint documents signed during the Summit as listed in annex.