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Premier Li stresses improving two-way openness and cooperation

Updated: Jun 23,2020 06:53 AM

Premier Li Keqiang held the 22nd China-EU leaders' meeting with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen via video link on June 22.

China and the European Union have established a comprehensive strategic partnership, with cooperation far outweighing competition, and consensus far outweighing differences, the Premier noted.

China attaches great importance to its bilateral relations with the EU, and President Xi Jinping will meet Michel and von der Leyen via video link, Premier Li told them at the meeting.

It has been 45 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the EU, and China-EU relations have set the basic tone of cooperation, which has improved the well-being of the two peoples and injected stability into a complicated and changing world, the Premier added.

China has always supported the process of European integration and hopes to see a united and prosperous Europe, Premier Li said, adding that both sides should assess China-EU relations from a long-term and broader perspective and stick to the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.

The two sides should enhance mutual understanding through more dialogues, achieve mutual benefits and win-win results through intensified cooperation, and jointly contribute to maintaining peace and stability and seek prosperity and development for the world, the Premier said.

Since China and the EU are both major economies, they should strengthen coordination on macroeconomic policies amid the huge impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. They also should make joint efforts to stabilize the industrial chain and supply chain of China, the EU and the whole world, and inject energy into global economic recovery, Premier Li said.

Both sides should be committed to concluding the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement in 2020 and reaching a comprehensive, balanced and high-level agreement. Also, the China-EU agreement on geographical indications is expected to be concluded as soon as possible, the Premier said. He stressed that China stays committed to the path of peaceful development, aiming to create a market-oriented, law-based, and world-class business environment for enterprises from all over the world, and some European enterprises have benefited from it.

Premier Li said that it is expected that the EU can equally maintain an open trade and investment market, relax export restrictions to China and make bilateral high-tech trade more convenient. He underlined that a better win-win result can be realized through expanding two-way openness on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect.

According to Premier Li, both China and the EU support multilateralism and free trade. China is willing to keep communication with the EU on issues such as World Trade Organization reform, jointly maintain the rule-based multilateral trade system, participate in the multilateral process to address climate change in a constructive manner, and continuously enrich the connotation of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.

China and the EU also should keep supporting the World Health Organization’s leading role in fighting against the COVID-19 epidemic and strengthening cooperation with each other in vaccine and medicine research and development. Through concerted efforts, China and the EU seek to defeat the disease at an early date, the Premier said.

Michel and von der Leyen said that this year marked the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the EU. Against the backdrop of the global challenges, the EU and China have maintained close exchanges. The two sides also have supported each other in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.

The EU appreciates China’s participation in international initiatives proposed by the European side, and is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in economic recovery and maintaining the safety of the industrial supply chains.

Michel and von der Leyen said the EU hopes the two sides will further open their markets to each other, strengthen connectivity, deepen cooperation in trade, investment and digital economy, and conclude the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement in 2020.

The EU is willing to finish the internal procedures of the China-EU agreement on geographical indications at an early date, and will strengthen coordination on the WTO reform and cooperation in coping with climate change, as well as mutually safeguard multilateralism and free trade, Michel and von der Leyen said.

The two sides also exchanged ideas on mutually concerned international and regional issues.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, also attended the meeting.