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Premier Li: China wants to seek more balanced trade with EU

Updated: Jul 17,2018 3:14 PM

Premier Li Keqiang said that China wants to seek more balanced trade with the European Union, adding that there is a wide range of areas where China and the EU can cooperate.

Premier Li made the remarks during a joint press conference on July 16 with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the 20th China-EU leaders’ meeting in Beijing.

Given the complicated international situation, it is important for China and the EU to uphold multilateralism and advance the building of the multipolar world, which will contribute to global peace, Premier Li said.

He added that China and the EU are ready to communicate and set up a mechanism to protect multilateralism and safeguard free trade.

The Premier also stressed that China’s door of opening-up will open wider.

While Tusk said it is the common duty of the EU as well as China, US and Russia to responsibly improve current rules based on the international order and not to start trade wars or destroy the global trade order.

He believed that “there is still time to prevent conflict and chaos” amid global trade tension.

Juncker pointed out that “in today’s world, (the EU-China) partnership is more important than ever before.”

China knows how to open up its economy and could do so if it wishes, he added.

Ahead of the press conference, Premier Li and the two EU leaders held a small meeting and discussed major issues of mutual interest.

During the meeting, Premier Li told them that China needs to advance investment treaty negotiations with the EU and both should share the objective of concluding agreements at an early date.

Joint statement

China and the EU also released a joint statement to announce their joint commitments to advocate multilateralism, safeguard the international order, and promote world peace, stability and development during the annual China-EU leaders’ meeting.

— On Trade

The statement said that the two sides recognized the importance of open, transparent and non-discriminatory procurement procedures.

China and the EU exchanged market access offers for a bilateral investment agreement currently under negotiation, with both sides calling the proposed treaty a top priority in relations.

The EU also took note of China’s recent commitments to improve market access and intellectual property rights, the statement said.

— On Belt and Road Initiative

The two sides will also foster synergy between the China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and its extension to the Western Balkans as well as relevant neighborhood initiatives.

Through “hard connectivity” like compatible air and sea cargo transport and “soft connectivity” like digital networks, both sides will emphasize the EU-China connectivity in diverse fields.

Meanwhile, China and the EU agreed that cooperation should obey international rules and norms, respective international responsibilities as well as the laws and policies of the beneficiary countries.

— On Iran nuclear deal

The statement stressed that China and the EU still believed that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is the key to the global nuclear nonproliferation system and is an important diplomatic achievement approved by the UN Security Council.

As the International Atomic Energy Agency has once again confirmed that Iran has fulfilled their related nuclear commitments, two sides reiterated that they will maintain the deal.

— On climate change

China and the EU also reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris climate change pact and called other signatories to do the same.

The joint statement pointed out that taking action against rising global temperatures has become more important than ever, and China and the EU will work closely together to promote an effective solution to the problem of aviation and shipping emissions and in carbon emissions trading.

Both sides remained committed to creating a mechanism to transfer $100 billion a year from richer to poorer nations to help them adapt to climate change.