EU/China Summit: common press conference by José Manuel Barroso, Herman van Rompuy and Li Keqiang
Type: Complete press conference
Beijing - Great Hall of the People
Li Keqiang, Chinese Prime Minister, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, held a joint press conference after the 16th EU/China Summit, which took place in Beijing on 21 November 2013.
The Summit marked the 10th anniversary of the EU/China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and it was an important moment to look forward to the next decade of cooperation between the EU and China.
Leaders discussed how best to meet new policy challenges in a changing world, in particular the need to secure green growth. The Summit agenda dealt with EU/China bilateral relations including trade and investment, market access, human rights, innovation, urbanisation, good governance and the rule of law, agriculture, energy, climate change, environment and people-to-people exchanges. There was an exchange of views on each other's domestic situations. Global development and regional issues were covered, including cooperation in the G20 and security in each other's neighbourhoods, including the crisis in Syria.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Speech by Li Keqiang, Chinese Prime Minister, (in CHINESE)
||Speech by Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, (in ENGLISH):At the outset, I wish to express my gratitude to Prime Minister Li for his hospitality and warm welcome. It is a pleasure to be back in Beijing. It is the first time since he took the reins of the State Council. This year we have an additional reason for celebration, as the summit marked the 10th anniversary of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Ahead of this summit we had very good talks with President Xi.Over the last decade, our partnership has become increasingly rich and multi-dimensional. We started from a largely trade-driven relationship, but we engage now in a wide spectrum of high level and sectorial dialogues, including the Strategic Dialogue, the Economic and Trade Dialogue and the People-to-People Dialogue, which are the "three pillars" of our relationship. The EU/China Urbanisation Partnership, launched just a year ago, has already become a flagship initiative. 2000 experts have been participating in the Forum today.Our summit today has been an important building block in the EU/China relationship. We have agreed that we will enhance our Strategic Partnership pursuing peace, prosperity and sustainable development for our two sides and for the world at large. We have set out our mid-to-long term ambitions in the EU/China 2020 Strategic Agenda which we have agreed at this summit. We are looking forward to its implementation and to reviewing it during future summit meetings.
||Speech by Herman van Rompuy (in ENGLISH):We have naturally taken the opportunity of the summit to discuss the recent measures we have each taken to place our economies on sounder footings. I explained to the Prime Ministers our economic strategy in the eurozone and in the Union and how this approach is producing results. The existential threat to the eurozone is behind us. Growth and jobs will have positive figures in almost all countries in 2014 and 2015. We are deepening our EMU and bringing the banking union to completion in 2014. A lot of work is to be done but our efforts are paying off.Green growth and innovation are at the centre of both our internal strategies, the EU 2020 Strategy and in the Chinese 12th Five-Year Plan and the decisions made by the Third Plenum. We have therefore agreed that green growth should become a key area of strategic and practical bilateral cooperation, and we have also launched, at the side of the summit, a new High Level Dialogue on Innovation Cooperation.
||Speech by Herman van Rompuy (in ENGLISH):Trade and investment issues remain high on our agenda. We have made a substantial step forward today by launching negotiations on an investment agreement, covering both investment protection and market access. This will be the first stand-alone investment agreement since the new competencies were attributed to the Union. We also continued our discussion on how to promote and rebalance our trade relations further. There is much work to do, not least in making our systems work better together.A level playing field, transparency, and confidence in the rule of law are essential on both sides for business to thrive. In this regard we recalled our interest in starting a new bilateral dialogue on the rule of law. We will be attending the 8th EU/China Business summit this afternoon to listen to the messages from and express our support to those on whose performance our economic future development rests.
||Speech by Herman van Rompuy (in ENGLISH):A word on human rights. The protection of human rights and fundamental freedom is at the core of the existence of the EU itself and constitutes an important part of our exchange with all our partners. There is no doubt that through lifting millions of people from poverty China has made key contributions in this field. We also took good note of the decisions taken in the Third Plenum which we consider as an important progress in the field of the human rights.We discussed today questions related to the protection of minorities and freedom of expression especially on defenders of human rights and I expressed our concerns. I expressed also our wish to work with China to improve our bilateral human rights dialogue and welcomed the visit to China of the EUSR for Human Rights, Mr Lambrinidis.
||Speech by Herman van Rompuy (in ENGLISH):Among foreign and security issues, I will share with Prime Minister Li our views on the situation in Syria and how this conflict is endangering peace and stability in the Middle East and has turned into a humanitarian tragedy. The EU is working hard to launch a negotiation process that will help in bringing a political solution. There is no military solution for this conflict. At the same time, through its humanitarian efforts (2 billion euro since 2011), it seeks to alleviate the living condition of millions of displaced and refugees that are seeing their lives shattered. Stopping violence is a priority. The success in addressing the destruction of chemical weapons has shown the effectiveness of UN Security Council action when it acts united. China from her position as a permanent member, has a key role to play in forging such agreements.China is already working very closely with the EU in addressing the Iranian nuclear issue. A positive outcome of these negotiations under the leadership of High Representative Ashton will have a very beneficial input on overall security in the Middle East.I hope I will also be able to share our views on the situation in North Africa, Mali and in the Sahel. Restoring stability there, is key to fight against organised crime and terrorism. It is also essential to alleviate poverty of millions of women and children in the region.Indeed development and security are intrinsically linked. Both the EU and China have important relations with African nations.The EU is also the largest provider in the world of humanitarian aid and development assistance and we have discussed today with Premier Li how to take a more active role together in securing international development through the establishment of a new dialogue between us. In general, disputes wherever in the world have to be settled via dialogue and negotiations. Our world has become indeed closely intertwined.
||Speech by Herman van Rompuy (in ENGLISH):We have also exchanged views regarding Asian regional security. The EU has an important stake in the security of the Asia-Pacific region where any disruption would impact directly on our security and prosperity. Like China, the EU strongly supports ASEAN's integration and ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture. We want a strong, united and self-confident ASEAN. But we also believe that the regional security architecture needs to be consolidated. We attach great importance to the safety of maritime routes in Asia and Africa, for the world economy and the world peace and security.Let me conclude thanking Prime Minister Li again for his hospitality and for the candid and useful exchanges we are having. I can confidently say that our relations have further progressed.
||Speech by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, (in ENGLISH):This is a special moment. Even if I've met Premier Li several times in other occasions, this is our first Summit with him as a Prime Minister of China. I want to use the opportunity to wish him all the very best success for himself and for China.And this is also a special moment for the EU/China relations because we are celebrating this year the 10th anniversary of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This is my tenth EU/China Summit as Commission President. I am proud of the role played by the European Commission in the consolidation and expansion of our relationships over these years. We have transformed our relations in a unique and irreplaceable bond, instrumental for the success and prosperity of our people.In these 10 years our economies became more integrated and interdependent. Our trade flows grew tremendously, having quadrupled in this period of time. The European Union has been China's number one trading partner for these past 10 years.But we went beyond trade and we have added a political and security pillar to our relation and a people-to-people pillar that is bringing both Chinese and European people together.
||Speech by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH):This Summit is also special because we are meeting in a moment where both China and the EU are in a turning point, enforcing their commitment to reforms. In Europe we are reforming our social market economy to better adapt it to today's world. And China is also committing very much to reforms. The Third Plenum met recently to discuss the main challenges for the next decade. Its conclusions, we believe, are far reaching, namely in terms of economic reform. I had the opportunity to tell Premier Li during our meeting that the EU supports Chinese efforts to rebalance its growth model, to open up its economy, to become more socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. At the same time we are grateful for the constant support that China has been giving to European integration. We see these objectives very convergent in terms of what can be the future of our relationship. This why I am particularly happy that we were able to agree today on a 2020 agenda that will guide our cooperation for the next decade. This is both a strategic document and at the same time a very concrete one with a number of initiatives and engagements that we undertake to do. Our relations not only have a great history as now they also have a promising future.
||Speech by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH):And we did not lose any time as today we already launched some initiatives which are part of this 2020 vision. We have decided to fully tap the potential of investment by launching negotiations for an ambitious investment agreement, covering both investment protection and market access. Our stakeholders expect that this agreement will enhance openness, provide for fair and equitable treatment and contribute to overcome some barriers in different sectors of the market. This is essential to deepen further our already very dynamic and important trade relationship, indeed one of the most important economic relations in today's world. Today we also gave further steps to move up our cooperation in the value chain. I am delighted to announce that we launched an Innovation Dialogue, which allows us to make substantial progress on how to add value to our production and how to best support our society's creative forces.
||Speech by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH):We consolidated the Urbanisation Partnership that Premier Li and I launched last year in Brussels. With hundreds of millions of Chinese set to migrate from rural areas into the cities, managing urbanisation will be an unprecedented challenge. This morning I also had the occasion to visit the European Union/China Law School, a project that I launched with Premier Li 5 years ago. I was glad to meet Chinese and European and international students and to see that the Rule of Law can also be an expanding area of our dialogue and cooperation.As global players and global partners we will also discuss how to best advance Climate Change negotiations in order to get an ambitious legally binding agreement by 2015 in the Paris Conference Of Parties; the future international development framework, in particular the need to combine poverty eradication with sustainable development and G20 issues such as global financial stability, the fight against tax evasion and corruption. These are, in fact, critically important for the future world order.So, we have built a solid Strategic Partnership, we have launched the basis for this Strategic Cooperation for the next decade and I believe beyond. All this is consolidating a sentiment of strategic trust. Trust is something that needs to be nurtured and deserved on both sides. That comes from regular contacts and dialogue. I am grateful for the opportunity we had today to consolidate and expand that trust, for the benefit of our peoples and the world at large.