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European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery]

Introductory remarks by President Jean-Claude Juncker at the EU-China Summit 2016

Beijing, 12 July 2016

Mister Prime Minister,

Thank you very much for your friendly words of welcome. My first visit to China goes back to February '96, and as a Prime Minister of my country I came back to China again and again, and so I am very happy to be here once again, but in a different capacity now, because we are here as the leaders of the European Union. We as the European Union, we are showing in fact day by day that we are investing in our relationship with China for the long-term, and we are determined to ensure that this relationship will evolve into a strong, stable and mature partnership. We are living, as we all know, in turbulent times, both in China and in Europe, but we are sticking to our European project, because we do think that this is a unique experience the world did not see before, and so we are continuing our project, although we are losing one of our Member States after the British referendum, the so-called Brexit. We want to increase the efficiency of the European Union and the added value of our unique project. We remain committed to this and China will be part of our common future.

I do think that we have to accelerate a certain number of common ideas and projects and undertakings, and we will have the opportunity to discuss all these elements in our today's and tomorrow's meeting, notably further progress on the comprehensive agreement on investment, with an ambitious market excess component. We have to discuss the problems related to overcapacity but also the joint research and innovation activities, which are of huge importance. And we would like to discuss connectivity in global terms, maybe connecting the Eurasian continent via physical and digital networks. I am pleased that we have agreed to establish 2017 as the EU-China Blue Year and that we have agreed to launch in 2018 the EU-China year of tourism. So we have many things to do and I am convinced that together we will succeed.

Thank you, Mister Prime Minister.


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