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Brussels, 19 September 2012

EUCO 170/12


PR PCE 145

15th EU-China Summit: joining forces in challenging times

The 15th EU-China summit will take place in Brussels on 20 September. The EU will be represented by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. The People's Republic of China will be represented by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

The summit comes at an important moment for both Europe and China during a period of slowing global economic growth and an increasingly challenging international environment. Both sides recognise that continuing to strengthen the EU-China strategic partnership is essential to get through these difficult times.

The agenda will address all the main bilateral, global and regional issues. Leaders will exchange views about recent measures they have taken to bolster the performance of their economies. They will take stock of progress made in the bilateral relationship seven months since the last summit in February, particularly in the fields of urbanisation cooperation, people-to-people contacts and reinforced energy cooperation. The summit will see new areas of cooperation and further agreements signed. Syria, Iran and regional issues will be tackled. Cooperation in the G20 and on climate negotiations will also be addressed.

Leaders will attend the 8th EU-China Business Summit taking place in Brussels the same day. As part of the new EU-China Partnership for Urbanisation, Brussels will also host the 1st EU-China Mayor’s Forum which will gather 50 mayors from Europe and China as well as representatives from the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee.

"Europe is taking its share of responsibility to help the world out of its economic and financial crisis. This EU-China summit allows us to discuss the state of both our economies and how to join forces to drive our economies out of their current difficulties,” said President Van Rompuy.

President Barroso said: “EU-China cooperation is indispensable in today's world, as shown by the increasing number of global issues on our common agenda - from economic matters and trade to climate change and sustainable development. Our growing interdependence should contribute to bringing about more opportunities for citizens and for business. Premier Wen has played an important role in consolidating the EU-China relations and I look forward to discussing with him how to foster these ties and how to step up our cooperation on global matters."

Premier Wen has been attending EU-China summits since 2003. This summit will be his last. The EU-China relationship has developed significantly during the past decade, becoming much more strategic and comprehensive, as both the EU and China have evolved into more important world players.

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