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Brussels, 20 September 2012



Joint Press Communiqué
15th EU-China Summit

Towards a stronger EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

  • The 15th EU-China Summit was held in Brussels on 20 September 2012. The EU was represented by Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, assisted by the High-Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton. Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of the People's Republic of China attended on behalf of China.

The EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

Summit leaders:

  • Reviewed bilateral relations, in particular the important progress since the establishment of EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2003. They noted with satisfaction that the EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership had matured and become increasingly rich and multi-dimensional, and was now embodied in wide-ranging cooperation initiatives forged between the two sides. Both sides were determined to continue to develop the Partnership in the future to further increase its strategic dimension and bring EU-China cooperation to a higher level.

  • Exchanged views on major global and international issues and recognized the growing interaction and interdependence between China and the EU. They welcomed the fact that relations had progressed beyond the bilateral framework and taken on a global dimension. China and the EU, influential in the world scene of the 21st century, were crucial actors in advancing peace, prosperity and stability. Both sides emphasized multilateralism and the central role of the United Nations in international affairs. China and the EU would redouble their joint efforts to tackle global challenges such as the international financial and economic crisis, sustainable development, environmental protection, climate change, food and water security, energy security and nuclear safety.

  • Re-confirmed the key role of the annual EU-China summit in providing strategic guidance to bilateral relations, affirmed the important role played by the EU-China High Level Strategic Dialogue, High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue and High Level People-to-people Dialogue, in advancing EU-China relations. They committed further to improve and strengthen these regular mechanisms.

  • Emphasized the importance of taking a positive view of each other's development and rendering mutual support. The Chinese side reaffirmed its continued support for the European integration process, and expressed confidence that appropriate steps were being taken to tackle the euro area sovereign debt crisis. The EU reaffirmed its support for China's peaceful development and its respect for China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and expressed its confidence in China's efforts to maintain sustainable, steady and rapid economic growth.

  • Emphasized the importance of accommodating each other's concerns for furthering the overall relationship taking a strategic perspective. They agreed that, where differences remained, these should be discussed and handled in a spirit of mutual respect and equality.

  • Emphasized the importance of promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law. Both sides looked forward to the strengthening of the EU-China Dialogue and cooperation on human rights based on equality and mutual respect and announced their intention to hold the next round in China. They expressed their readiness to work together for constant progress on the ground. They agreed to hold the next legal seminar in Ireland in October. Both sides confirmed their commitment to cooperate with UN human rights mechanisms.

  • Expressed that efforts should be made actively to seek synergies between China's Twelfth Five Year Plan and the Europe 2020 Strategy with a view to expanding and deepening pragmatic cooperation in various fields.

  • Highlighted their commitment to further tap the potential for EU-China cooperation and agreed to work together to formulate a forward-looking and ambitious EU-China Cooperation Package to provide strategic guidance for an enhanced EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

Economy, Trade and Investment

Summit Leaders:

  • Reconfirmed both sides’ commitment to launching negotiations of an EU-China Investment Agreement as soon as possible to promote and facilitate investment in both directions, thus resulting in an additional source of growth and employment. Negotiations towards this agreement would include all issues of interest to either side, without prejudice to the final outcome. They agreed to intensify discussions at a technical level in preparation for future negotiations.

  • Stressed that particular importance should be given to working for the resolution of the Market Economy Status (MES) issue in a swift and comprehensive way.

  • Expressed satisfaction with EU-China cooperation in the field of competition policy and welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the area of anti-monopoly law enforcement.

  • Reaffirmed the importance of trade openness to sustainable economic growth and development. They affirmed the importance of an effective Intellectual Property (IP) system and trade openness to innovation.

  • Recognized the importance of open and non-discriminatory government procurement policies and agreed to increase exchanges in this field. The EU expressed support to China's accession to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement and encouraged China to accelerate its efforts.

  • Recalled the conclusions of the 14th EU-China Summit on export credits and looked forward to continued discussions in the international working group of major providers of export finance.

  • Welcomed the exchanges of views on intellectual property rights during their annual IP dialogue (18 September, Brussels) and recognized the importance of strengthening cooperation on IP protection and IPR enforcement.

  • Agreed to make joint efforts to conclude an ambitious bilateral agreement on the protection of geographical indications. They noted progress achieved during the latest round of negotiations (13-14 September, Brussels) and would step up EU-China cooperation on counterfeiting in alcoholic beverages.

  • Recognized and welcomed the progress in their cooperation in the non-food consumer product safety area. They emphasized the need to continue this good cooperation in the future.

  • Recognized that customs cooperation plays a significant role in facilitating and securing trade. They called for further intensification of joint efforts on IPR border enforcement, supply chain security, trade facilitation, external trade statistics and the fight against fraud.

  • The Chinese side welcomed the plan of the European Investment Bank to set up an office in China.

Bilateral Cooperation

Summit Leaders:

  • Recognized the mutual benefit of EU-China cooperation in research and innovation and agreed to establish an annual comprehensive Innovation Cooperation Dialogue. They welcomed the signing of a joint declaration outlining the goals and objectives of this new Dialogue. An EU-China Innovation Cooperation Seminar was to be held in November 2012, and the first meeting of the Dialogue was to be held before the 2013 EU-China Summit.

  • Welcomed the inaugural meeting of the EU-China/ESA Dialogue on Space Technology Co-operation and the agreement reached on its terms of reference. They expressed common willingness to enhance cooperation in the field of space technology, and on the civil aspects of their respective Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) on the basis of the existing framework. In this context they welcomed the signature of the Joint Statement calling for the future establishment of a roadmap identifying cooperation projects and actions of mutual interest.

  • Confirmed the official launch and welcomed the result of the first meeting of the EU-China Cyber Task-Force, and decided to continue exchanges on cyber issues of concern to either side to increase mutual trust and understanding.

  • Underlined the development of the Urbanization Partnership, and welcomed the first Mayors' Forum held on 19-20 September in Brussels. They stressed the need to steer and support peer-to-peer cooperation to promote the development of the EU-China Partnership on Urbanization, in line with its Joint Declaration. Both sides welcomed the EU-China Urbanization Leadership Training Programme to be led by the China Academy of Governance.

  • Welcomed the first High Level Meeting on Energy (HLME) held on 3 May which gathered all institutional stakeholders and deepened the EU-China strategic energy dialogue, covering mutually beneficial cooperation inter alia on energy security and electricity markets and looked forward to its follow-up. The two sides affirmed the importance of all countries playing an active role in international energy governance.

  • Welcomed the opening of discussions in view of a possible EURATOM-China General Agreement.

  • Highlighted the success of the first round of the EU-China High Level People-to-People Dialogue (HPPD), expressed satisfaction with the progress and achievements of "EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue" and agreed on a series of follow-up actions in various areas of education, culture, multilingualism and youth.

  • Called for the launch of a comprehensive EU-China Dialogue on Mobility and Migration at appropriate level. Both sides reaffirmed to continue to explore ways of facilitating exchanges for Chinese and EU citizens, including mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic passports while strengthening cooperation on illegal migration.

  • Highlighted the EU-China Cooperation Plan in Agriculture and Rural Development agreed in June. Leaders underlined the need to continue efforts to develop relations in key sectors of common interest, such as mutual recognition arrangements for organic agriculture. The two sides emphasized the need to continue taking full advantage of the EU-China Dialogue Mechanism on Agriculture and Rural Development, and enhance and expand pragmatic cooperation in such fields as dairy industry, wine, processing and quality systems.

  • Expressed satisfaction with EU-China cooperation in the field of employment and social affairs, in particular exchanges of policy experience in social security, occupational safety and health, youth employment, inclusive growth models and labour relations. Both sides supported the promotion of the decent work agenda within the framework of ILO. They welcomed the establishment of a cooperation project on occupational safety and health in high risk sectors and continued cooperation on social security, pensions and social inclusion.

  • Noted the joint benefit of further strengthening their cooperation in the field of governance and public administration reform.

  • Highlighted progress in the field of disaster management cooperation and welcomed the launch of the EU-China Disaster Risk Management project underpinned by the creation of the EU-China Institute of Emergency Management. They agreed to intensify their co-operation with a view to promoting and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid solely based on the needs of people affected by disasters or crisis, and in accordance with humanitarian principles.

  • Recognized that their dialogue and co-operation on transport policy should become more strategic and expand to new areas. Leaders agreed that EU-China co-operation, including joint projects, should cover five key areas: aviation; railways; new maritime routes; urban mobility and logistics with a view to strengthening cooperation in these areas.

  • Agreed continuously to enhance cooperation in ocean policy based on the Memorandum of Understanding on establishing a High Level Dialogue on an Integrated Approach to Ocean Affairs. To this end, the next High Level Dialogue on an integrated approach to Ocean management which would address areas of common interest, such as ocean spatial planning, marine knowledge, ocean energy and ocean satellite data application and exchange, would be organised before the next EU-China Summit.

  • Took note that EU-China development cooperation has evolved over the past decade, agreed to launch a dialogue to explore new patterns of mutually beneficial cooperation through agreed projects and programmes.

Peace and Security

Summit Leaders:

  • Shared the view that China and the EU should enhance their cooperation in order to promote peace and security, and emphasized the fruitful discussions held in the third Strategic Dialogue on 9 and 10 July. They decided to intensify foreign and security policy dialogue on global and regional issues at all levels. They encouraged regular contacts between special representatives and special envoys. Both sides committed to holding a regular dialogue on defence and security policy, increasing training exchanges and organising a High Level Seminar on Defence and Security in 2013. They affirmed and highlighted the continued good cooperation in the field of crisis management, counter-piracy and maritime security.

  • Discussed international and regional issues as well as recent developments of mutual concern such as the crisis in Syria, the Iranian nuclear issue and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan, Burma/Myanmar, Sudan and South Sudan, and the situation in their respective neighbourhoods. Both sides looked forward to a successful ASEM Summit in November. They agreed that, in view of the fast changes taking place in today's world, China and the EU should work in closer cooperation regarding regional and global issues.

  • Reaffirmed their commitment to global disarmament, to a robust nuclear non-proliferation regime and to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. They insisted on an early start of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament, the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, continued cooperation in the field of export controls and prevention of illicit arms trade. They supported an early conclusion of an Arms Trade Treaty within the UN framework.

Global Issues

Summit Leaders:

  • Supported the G20, as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, in playing a greater role in global economic governance . Both sides believed that the G20 members needed to better coordinate their macroeconomic policies to ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth. In the coming months, the priority should continue to be to restore consumer and investor confidence, promote economic recovery, maintain financial stability, reform international financial institutions and promote employment, especially youth employment. Both sides agreed to intensify communication and coordination and make joint efforts to implement the agreements of the G20 Los Cabos Summit, including the Growth and Jobs Action plan.

  • Agreed to intensify cooperation and coordination with a view to restoring market confidence and fostering financial stability. The two sides stressed their willingness to work together within the G20, IMF and World Bank to improve global economic governance. They reaffirmed their determination to implement all their G20 commitments as scheduled, including in the areas of the global economy, financial regulatory reform, the increase of the IMF resources and the reform on the quota and governance of the IMF. They supported the Financial Stability Board's work on financial regulatory reforms.

  • Agreed that an open trade and investment environment and resistance of all forms of protectionism were necessary to enable sustainable economic recovery. They welcomed the G20's reaffirmation to refrain from and rectify protectionist measures and supported continuous monitoring by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

  • Underlined the importance of an open, predictable, rules-based, transparent multilateral trading system and committed to ensuring the centrality of the WTO. They reiterated the importance of achieving a successful multilateral conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda in accordance with its mandate and seeking early outcomes on trade facilitation and other issues of concern to developing countries.

  • Highlighted the importance of the outcome of the Rio + 20 conference and emphasized the need to implement the decisions taken without delay, including establishing an Inter-governmental Process on Sustainable Development Goals. They recalled the importance of implementing the green economy policy.

  • Underlined the importance of water, food and nutrition security as a common interest in our environmental and agricultural relations and major global issues. They took note of the interdependence of food and water security issues. Leaders committed to continue bilateral and multilateral efforts to address food and nutrition and water security concerns and welcomed the establishment of the EU-China Water Platform as a sound mechanism for future cooperation on integrated water resources management.

  • They welcomed the progress made in the EU-China environmental dialogue as well as the dialogue on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance, and agreed to step up bilateral cooperation including through cooperation on water pollution, waste policy and heavy metal pollution.

  • Underlined the need for international cooperation in tackling climate change and confirmed their commitment to continue to strengthen the cooperation for the full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol and the relevant decisions of the Conferences of the Parties to the UNFCCC and Meetings of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol including to all the decisions agreed upon in Durban last year, and looked forward to ensure a successful outcome in Doha.

  • Stressed the importance of tackling international civil aviation emissions, and agreed to cooperate to take action forward in multilateral fora, including the UNFCCC and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

  • Agreed further to deepen policy dialogue and pragmatic cooperation on tackling climate change as well as promoting low-carbon development under the EU-China Climate Change Partnership. They agreed to enhance practical cooperation on Emission Trading System building on the concrete cooperation initiatives agreed in this area.

  • Recognized the growing importance of the Arctic, notably in the aspects of climate change, scientific research, environmental protection, sustainable development and maritime transport, and agreed to exchange views on Arctic matters.

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