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EU-CHINA SUMMIT: JOINT PRESS TATEMENT
THURSDAY 2 APRIL 1998
2003/10/10

On April 2 1998, HE Zhu Rongji, Premier of the People's Republic of

China, the Rt Hon Tony Blair, Prime Minister of The United Kingdom

- the current EU Presidency - Jacques Santer, President of the

European Commission, held the first China-EU Summit in London. The

two sides held an in-depth exchange of views on the further

development of China-EU relations and international issues of

mutual interest in a friendly atmosphere, and reached broad

consensus.


Both sides agreed that with a great and profound change of the

world's situation, an increase in dialogue and cooperation between

the EU and China is not only in the fundamental interests of both

sides but is also conducive to world peace, stability and

development.


China expressed keen interest in the process of EU integration and

welcomed and supported the launching of the Euro. The EU welcomed

China's strong commitment to market reform and the impressive way

it has undertaken the economic restructuring process. In

particular, the EU commended the Chinese Government's bold agenda

of specific initiatives announced at the Ninth People's Congress

last month.


The EU side briefed the Chinese on the Commission's recent

Communication on China. China welcomed the Commission's proposal,

which aims to upgrade the status and substance of the China-EU

relationship. The two sides expressed their hope to build a

long-term, stable and constructive partnership between China and

the EU for the twenty-first century.


The two sides stressed that stronger economic and trade ties

between China and the EU are an important foundation for the

continued development of their relations.


Both sides reaffirmed their shared commitment to securing China's

entry into the World Trade Organisation on terms that will be of

mutual benefit and reinforce the world trading system. The Chinese

side appreciated the EU's support for China's entry into the WTO

and reiterated its desire to become a member at an early date on

the basis of balanced rights and obligations. The two sides agreed

to make a concerted effort to make continued progress on the WTO

negotiations over the coming months, focusing on the task of

securing agreement on a package that would give substantial market

access for goods and services.


The two sides welcomed progress made in the China-EU human rights

dialogue since its resumption last year. The EU welcomed China's

decision to ratify the UN Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural

Rights and its intention to sign the UN Covenant on Civil and

Political Rights. Both sides agreed on the importance of achieving

further progress through a continued EU-China dialogue covering all

aspects of human rights, and supported by a wide range of

cooperation projects.


The EU praised China's steadfast reaction to the financial troubles

in Asia, particularly its continued determination not to devalue

its currency and its commitment to maintaining the pace of economic

and financial reform. Both sides expressed their conviction that

Asia will not only overcome the temporary difficulties caused by

the financial turmoil, but with effective implementation of the

necessary reforms Asia should emerge even stronger than before.


The two sides will strengthen their exchanges and cooperation in

the international financial and monetary field. The EU offered

China a package of technical assistance measures aimed at

facilitating the creation of a sound financial system, an offer

which was welcomed by China.


The two sides believe that this successful and productive Summit is

of great significance to EU-China relations. They agreed to

sustain the momentum of high-level exchanges and to consider

holding such Summits on an annual basis.


ENDS
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