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EU and China strengthen ties - 16/02/2012

The 14th EU-China summit in Beijing enabled the two to deepen their partnership.

The summit, held in Beijing on 14 February, brought together Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and leaders of EU institutions, Herman Van Rompuy (European Council) and José Manuel Barroso (Commission).

Describing the EU-China partnership as "one of the most important in the world", Commission President Barroso highlighted its importance for global stability and prosperity.

Solid cooperation on trade

The EU is China's biggest trading partner, while the EU imports more manufactured goods from China than from anywhere else. Trade between the two is worth €1 billion a day – a crucial source of employment, growth and innovation.

The summit favoured an early start to negotiations on an EU-China investment agreement – to foster trading between Chinese and European businesses. The EU stressed that the agreement should lead to a more open Chinese market.

Sustainable urbanisation

A new urban development partnership was launched at the summit. A first forum will be held this year for European and Chinese mayors to discuss energy, air and water quality, waste management, transport and integrating migrants into towns and cities.

More exchanges

This year is EU-China year of intercultural dialogue, with the aim of promoting cultural exchanges and contacts between European and Chinese people.

In line with that goal, the summit set up a people-to-people dialogue, which will focus on education and culture. Along with the dialogue, there are plans for an EU-China higher education council, and exchanges between students and teaching staff.

International issues

The EU and China agreed to intensify cooperation on issues such as Iran's nuclear programme, Syria and Burma/Myanmar.

They also decided to work together more closely within the G20 to find solutions to problems affecting the international community as a whole, such as climate change and cybercrime.

EU-China summit, 14 February 2012

EU-China relations

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