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The importance of China-EU joint statement lies in its details

Updated: Apr 10,2019 8:30 PM

The importance of the China-EU joint statement lies in its details, a Chinese official involved in the negotiation and drafting of the statement text said.

For example, according to Article 12 of the statement, China and EU “confirmed their intention to renew the China-EU Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement,” which means the already fruitful technology cooperation between the two sides can continue in various fields and on a high level.

The joint statement was reached after the 21st China-EU leaders’ meeting co-chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on April 9 in Brussels.

The agreement came as a surprise to some international media who think there is not enough consensus between the two sides to make any concrete results.

Premier Li described the joint statement as a “fruitful” and “substantial” document. “It is not an ordinary document that only states each other’s position,” he said.

Everything chosen to be put into the joint statement is a message. In Article 11, it says: “China and the EU welcome progress and further exchanges in the China-EU dialogue and working mechanism on 5G based on the 5G Joint Declaration of 2015, including on technological cooperation between respective business communities.”

In the complex global situation, the inclusion of the 5G issue is a symbol. The “technological cooperation between respective business communities” creates a vast room of practical cooperation.

Apart from practical results, the statement also has stated shared prospects. In Article 13, the two sides commit to “achieve in the course of 2019 the decisive progress required, notably with regard to the liberalization commitments, for the conclusion of an ambitious China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement in 2020.”

The joint statement is undoubtedly a result based on the value of “seeking common ground and reserve differences.” Literally, it is a fact that China and the EU have more common interests than differences.