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Premier Li’s visit boosts China-Europe ties

Updated: Jun 5,2017 3:28 PM

Premier Li Keqiang, accompanied by Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel, visits the Geely-Volvo innovative achievement exhibition in Brussels on June 2.

China, Europe reach multiple agreements

The Washington Post reported on June 2 that as Donald Trump criticized European leaders’ approach to dealing with trade and security issues, China and the European Union (EU) signed a series of agreements, bringing closer the world’s second- and third-largest economies.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk said after a meeting with Premier Li that China and Europe demonstrated their commitment to the world and future generations.

Premier Li said China and Europe should deal with increasing international uncertainties with stable bilateral cooperation.

The Central News Agency reported that at a brief news conference after the China-EU leaders’ meeting, Tusk said China and EU, as strategic partners, will expand cooperation on trade, investment, immigration, and the North Korea issue.

Both sides will also work together on issues concerning climate change.

Premier Li said China and Europe should respect each other’s development path based on the principle of equality.

According to a report by German daily Handelsblatt, this China-EU leaders’ meeting was the best so far, and both sides found common ground, Tusk said.

Meanwhile, Premier Li called for EU to fulfill its obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s accession to WTO.

The two sides also signed a series of agreements involving cooperation in intellectual rights protection, customs, and research and development.

Belgian weekly Le Vif reported that China and Belgium signed eight trade agreements, reflecting the good relations between the two nations, quoting Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.

The agreements cover cooperation in ports and hygiene, and guarantee rules on China’s export of livestock products, and joint research on 5G mobile communication technology.

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that on the day President Trump announced the US’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Premier Li, in his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said that China will continue to fulfill the nation’s obligation under the Paris Agreement.

In two days of meetings, Premier Li and Merkel also discussed free trade. Merkel said China and Germany have shared principles, including free trade and open markets.

In addition, Merkel also urged efforts to push forward the negotiation over China-EU investment agreements, adding that it is a possibility that a deal with China on free trade will be signed.

Enhanced cooperation serves shared interests

Spanish newspaper ABC reported that just a few years ago, China and EU were never expected to form any global strategic alliance due to disparities in politics and trade.

However, on June 2 in Brussels, the meeting between Premier Li and Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker sent out a signal: EU and China will play the role of global leaders after the US retreated from the Paris climate accord.

Russian news media Pravda reported that as Premier Li was paying a visit to Europe, China’s intention to expand cooperation with EU is clear.

The Belt and Road Initiative, covering the whole Eurasian continent, will build an integrated economic space.

China has a firm stance in fighting climate change, and cooperation with EU will allow the nation to have access to the latest technology.