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President Barroso's visit to China, 29 April – 1st May

Commission Européenne - IP/10/465   26/04/2010

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IP/10/465

Brussels, 26 April 2010

President Barroso's visit to China, 29 April – 1st May

On Wednesday 29 April, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, will embark on his first trip to China since the start of the new Commission, giving continuation to the close cooperation established in the past 5 years. He will go first to Beijing then to Shanghai for the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

In Beijing, President Barroso will lead a high-level delegation of Commissioners, which will include Catherine Ashton (Vice-President and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy), Neelie Kroes (Vice-President, Digital Agenda), Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth), Karel De Gucht (Trade), Günther Oettinger (Energy) and Connie Hedegaard (Climate Action).

The main focus of the visit will be to develop a forward looking agenda for bilateral relations, under the new framework provided by the Lisbon Treaty. The members of the European delegation will have discussions with their Chinese counterparts in a meeting chaired on the Chinese side by Mr. Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China.

President Barroso said "I am looking forward to the meeting between the European Commission and the Chinese leadership. This will be our third working meeting since 2008 which shows the closeness of our cooperation. We will seize this opportunity to generate positive momentum in our 35-years relationship and develop a far reaching agenda for the next 5 years. The EU and China are important global players and it is essential that we work together in addressing common challenges. The EU's participation in the Shanghai World expo 2010 also shows our intention to forge closer ties with China at the people-to-people level."

The meeting will mainly address bilateral issues, notably perspectives of EU-China relations over the next 5 years, as well as important global challenges such as the economic and financial crisis, climate change and international security issues.

The inauguration of the Europe-China Clean Energy Centre in Beijing on Friday 30 April will highlight a concrete example of successful developments in our bilateral cooperation.

Concerning climate change issues, Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Action, will meet responsible involved in the international climate negotiations, most notably Mr. Xie Zhenhua, Vice-Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission.

Another significant aspect of the visit of President Barroso to China will be his participation in the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo 2010 and the inauguration of the EU Pavillion on Saturday 1st of May. On this occasion, President Barroso will meet the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Hu Jintao.

Background

On April 2008, President Barroso led for the first time a group of European Union Commissioners to Beijing, where they met the Chinese leadership. In January 2009 PM Wen Jiabao, together with a group of Ministers, paid a return visit to Brussels.

EU relations with China were established in 1975 and are governed by the 1985 EU-China Trade and Cooperation Agreement. In 2007, to reflect the depth and breadth of today’s strategic partnership, negotiations began to upgrade this to a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. The main policy objectives of the EU regarding China include broadening and deepening dialogue with China on common global challenges and supporting China’s transition to an open society based upon the rule of law and respect for human rights.


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