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China-UK Joint Statement
(10 May 2004)
2004/05/12

The Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, H.E. Wen Jiabao and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, held talks in London on 10 May 2004 during Premier Wen Jiabao's official visit to the UK.

Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Tony Blair today welcome the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the UK, and pledge to work together to develop this partnership to benefit our countries and to help create a safer, more prosperous and open world.

We share a common interest in Britain and China working together on bilateral, multilateral and global issues. We see the relationship between our two countries as among our top international priorities.

China's sustained economic growth and development, and increasing role as a global economic power has enabled the partnership to grow significantly in stature in recent years. Links flourish in a huge number of areas, from environment to education, development to science and technology.

We agree that co-operation between China and the UK has increased significantly since our last meeting in July 2003. We look forward to continuing high level dialogue at the China-EU Summits in 2004 and 2005, the latter in Beijing under the UK Presidency of the EU, and also at the summits between us that we have now agreed will take place annually.

Following Tony Blair's visit to China last year, we decided to establish Task Forces to facilitate this step-change in bilateral relations. These Task Forces have drawn in expertise from all parts of society and have produced new proposals in Trade and Investment, Finance, Energy, Education, Science and Technology, Environment - including Climate Change - and Sustainable Development, and Culture (See Annex). We wish to thank Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan, the respective Task Force Chairmen, and the Task Force members for their work.

The breadth and depth of China-UK relations are illustrated by the Task Forces' proposals and increasing co-operation on a growing number of shared issues of international concern including environmental management and protection, energy, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism and tackling organised crime.

We agree to strengthen our countries' bilateral and multilateral co-operation as follows:

1. To consolidate and strengthen the bilateral relationship:

(i) We agree to increase the exchange of high-level visits. Government leaders and foreign ministers of the two countries will exchange visits annually to reinforce and extend bilateral political co-operation in fields such as strategic security and non-proliferation.

(ii) We agree to intensify co-operation in broad areas of trade and investment, which we will promote through the Joint Economic and Trade Commission, in line with the recommendations of the Task Forces which are set out in the Annex.

(iii) The two sides will also increase co-operation in the areas of science, technology, education, culture and environmental protection in line with the Task Forces' proposals. They signed a number of memoranda of understanding during this visit to take forward aspects of this co-operation.

(iv)We note the important role that the China-UK Forum has played in bilateral relations and invite the Forum to consider its future role, in particular in the areas of industry, financial services, science, technology and the environment, in light of the proposals made by the two Task Forces.

We had a friendly and open exchange of views on issues relating to Hong Kong. We reaffirmed our two Governments' commitments to the implementation of the Joint Declaration and agreed that it is in the interests of both sides to maintain and promote Hong Kong's prosperity and stability in accordance with the "one country, two systems" principle and the Basic Law. We agreed to continue our exchange of views on these issues.

The UK reaffirms its consistent position on the question of Taiwan as set out in the China/UK Joint Communiqué of 1972, in which the UK acknowledged the Chinese position that Taiwan is a province of the People's Republic of China and recognised the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China.

We place a high value on the bilateral human rights dialogue and will continue this exchange on the basis of equality and mutual respect. Both sides share a belief that all states should respect and protect human rights. The UK side welcomes the recent addition of respect and protection for human rights to the Chinese Constitution. The next round of the dialogue will take place in May 2004 and provides a genuine opportunity for concrete co-operation between our two countries.

2. To consolidate and strengthen co-operation in multilateral fora on issues of mutual and international concern.

Our countries will increase co-ordination in the UN to promote reforms in the UN to meet the challenges of the 21st century and to ensure greater respect for the UN Charter and international law. The two sides are committed to expanding co-operation within the framework of UN peacekeeping. China would like to strengthen consultations with the UK, including on the Middle East and Iraq.

We reiterate our determination to combat terrorism. Our governments will launch a China-UK anti-terrorism dialogue and intensify exchanges and co-operation in this area.

We reiterate our determination to promote non-proliferation. The UK welcomes China's commitment to non-proliferation and the actions it has taken to that end, and in particular welcomes the steps taken by China to strengthen its relationships with the non-proliferation export control regimes. China appreciates the efforts of the UK in promoting the resolution of the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in Iran within the framework of IAEA, and in persuading Libya to abandon WMD programmes. The UK also welcomes China's leading role in the Six Party Talks on the nuclear issues on the Korean peninsular. The two sides will intensify exchanges and co-operation in security, arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation areas.

We reaffirmed our commitments to work together to combat illegal immigration. The two Governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Facilitation of Legitimate Travel and Co-operation to Combat Illegal Immigration.

The two sides also endorse closer police co-operation. They agree, in accordance with international legal instruments such as the UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime, to enhance information exchange and law enforcement co-operation and work closely to crack down upon transnational crime.

Both sides speak highly of the positive achievements of the ASEM in promoting equal partnership between Asia and Europe, and express their readiness to further strengthen co-operation in the ASEM.

3. China and the UK pledge to enhance co-operation on international economic problems and to promote sustainable development.

The two sides will work together for the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals: the elimination of poverty, hunger, disease, environmental degradation, illiteracy, discrimination against women, and delivering the commitments made at the World Summit on Sustainable Development at all levels, inter alia, through the Commission for Sustainable Development(CSD).

Both sides are committed to international trade liberalisation and they will continue to advance the Doha Development Agenda negotiations. Both sides agree that realisation of the development objectives is of fundamental importance for the success of the round. They agree that it is in the interests of all WTO members to reach a balanced conclusion of the Doha round as soon as possible, and that they will work towards reaching a framework agreement in 2004. The UK and China agree to maintain their dialogue on this.

Both sides recognise the importance of effective protection of Intellectual Property Rights and the vital role that protection of IPRs plays in fostering foreign investment and creating a positive business environment. Both sides agree to enhance mutual co-operation on protection of IPRs. China will comply with its commitments under relevant international IPR conventions or agreements it has entered and protect the interests of IPR holders according to its domestic laws.

China and the UK reiterate their support for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and urge parties that have not yet done so to ratify the Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible. The two sides also urge all countries to make the most efficient use of energy resources that they can, and call on all Annex 1 countries to lead the way by making concerted efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so as to move towards the goals defined by the convention.

China and the UK recognise the importance of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development which emphasises the importance of access to information; public participation in decision-making; and access to justice in environmental matters.

The two sides also agree to share scientific and economic experience to take forward the China's and UK's efforts to achieve a low carbon economy and sustainable development, and to accelerate and develop the global market for climate friendly technologies, including through the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership.

The two sides reaffirm their wish to strengthen exchanges on environmental issues including climate change, sustainable management of natural resources, and measures to address forest law enforcement(including illegal logging), conservation of water resources, improving air quality and pollution control, and to learn from each other on environment-related legislation, supervision and personnel training.

Both sides will work together to help developing countries in addressing poverty and other development-related problems so as to better manage challenges posed by globalisation. The two sides place particular emphasis on peace and security, the fight against HIV/AIDS and sustainable development in Africa and give their full support to African countries in their efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals.

China-UK Joint Statement – ANNEX

Proposals for developing bilateral co-operation agreed by the two countries' Task Forces:

Trade & Investment

l At the heart of multi-sectoral collaboration between China and the UK, we will develop bilateral programmes across five key sectors – Finance, Energy, Information and Communication Technology(ICT), Healthcare and Water. The sector programmes will be developed in collaboration with industry, with clear business outcomes. The Joint Economic and Trade Commission will be underpinned by annual meetings at Secretary of State level, alternating between the China and UK. These meetings will also cover trade and investment policy issues.

l A UK National Trade and Investment Strategy for China. A new national trade and investment strategy for China will build on UK Trade and Industry's (UKTI) existing work of support for business and prioritising sectors and business services across UK regions and China.

l The two sides will encourage British enterprises to invest in China and Chinese enterprises to invest in the UK.

l The two sides will promote interaction and co-operation between small and medium-sized enterprises of both countries.

Finance

l The two sides look forward to the next round of China-UK Financial Dialogue Ministerial consultations in Beijing, at which both sides will be represented at Cabinet rank. The financial dialogue provides a framework for the two sides to continue to enhance and prioritise exchanges and cooperation in the financial field, in particular exchanges and consultations on macro-economic policy and industrial restructuring, public financial management, job-creation, competition and regulatory policy, and environmental management and protection. The two sides encourage participation by the British banking sector in the reform of the Chinese banking sector.

ICT

l The two sides welcome proposals to stage an ICT week in China in September 2004.

Energy

l The two sides place importance on their energy co-operation. Both are willing to exchange and co-operate through various means in fields such as energy policy, energy reform and development. We are both ready to share information and to promote joint activities in the fields of energy sector governance, energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources of energy. Both China and UK attach importance to sustainable, global energy security and to mitigating, and where possible reversing, the effects of climate change. The two sides note with pleasure the number of energy related commercial contracts signed during this visit.

Education

l Hold an annual China/UK Education Summit. These will be held alternately in the UK and China, at Ministerial level.

l The Chinese Ministry of Education and UK Department of Education and Skills agree to work together to create scholarship opportunities to support an exchange of high quality post-graduate students to carry out research at universities in China and the UK.

l The UK to work in collaboration with the Chinese to increase understanding in the UK of modern China. The School Links programme has a helpful role to play.

l Business-led projects to encourage links between industry and education. This would give engineers and others business experience and practical knowledge.

Science and Technology

l A "British Science in China" campaign, to be launched in China in January 2005, will enhance Chinese knowledge of UK scientific research and policy.

l Willing to set up a series of exchanges on best practice in the field of intellectual property. A strong intellectual property regime supports science and technology development. The UK wishes to share expertise to assist China's development of an intellectual property regime, consistent with WTO and other requirements, whilst also learning about China's priorities. The long-term benefits could include establishment of research partnerships in all areas of science and technology.

l Establish a China-UK science and innovation park steering committee to guide and support the work of science and technology incubators. The two sides agree to co-operate in research, prevention and treatment of communicable diseases and epidemics, and to intensify information sharing and communication.

Environment and Sustainable Development

l Establish a UK/China Working Group on climate change.

l A well-focused programme of support to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) in China.

l Dialogue on Sustainable Development. As partners on the issue of development, China and the UK agree to share experience through a high level dialogue on sustainable development involving a wide range of non-governmental stakeholders.

Culture

l Both sides are in favour of increasing cultural exchange and co-operation. They support the Chinese Culture Year held in the UK in 2004.

l Both sides welcome recent progress towards concluding a Cultural Centres Agreement, and reaffirm their commitments to the successful signature of an Agreement at an early date.

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