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China, EU need ‘greater wisdom’ for old problems: Premier

Updated: Nov 15,2017 6:20 AM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with European Council President Donald Tusk in Manila, the Philippines, Nov 14, 2017.[Photo/Xinhua]

MANILA — China and the European Union (EU) should strive to solve their old problems with greater wisdom, Premier Li Keqiang said in Manila on Nov 14.

Premier Li made the remarks when meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk on the sidelines of a series of leaders’ meetings on East Asian cooperation in the Philippine capital of Manila.

China and the EU are an important force for safeguarding world peace and stability and for promoting economic development and prosperity, Premier Li said.

Noting that both China and the EU have seen their development entering a new and critical phase, Premier Li urged the two sides to maintain the current positive momentum in bilateral relations by substantiating their consensus reached at the China-EU leaders’ meeting on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment.

To that end, he said the two sides should also push forward their negotiations for an investment agreement and enhance people-to-people exchanges.

China and the EU, Premier Li said, should strive to solve their long-standing problems with “greater wisdom.”

In particular, the Premier urged the EU to fulfill its obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), so as to make sure that relevant legislations accord with the WTO rules. He also called on the EU to show its support for trade liberalization and investment facilitation.

According to Article 15, WTO members should have stopped using the surrogate country approach to conduct anti-dumping investigations on China by Dec 11, 2016.

Meanwhile, Premier Li noted that the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries is conducive to the comprehensive and balanced development of China-EU relations and to the process of Europe’s integration as well.

The China-CEE cooperation framework, known as the “16+1,” is a platform created in April 2012 by China and 16 CEE countries.

The Premier told Tusk that the China-CEE cooperation is open and transparent, and that China welcomes the EU’s continuous participation.

Lauding the smooth progress made by the EU and China in their cooperation, Tusk said the bloc is willing to carry out the consensus reached by the two sides and optimize its economic and trade ties with China.

He added that the EU will also enhance people-to-people exchanges with China and strengthen cooperation on regional and international affairs.

The EU, he said, is pleased to see that the China-CEE cooperation could be conducive to the European integration process.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

Premier Li arrived in the Philippines on Nov 12 to pay an official visit to the country and attend the leaders’ meetings on East Asian cooperation.