Joint Press Communiqué of the 14th EU-China Summit (14/02/2012)

The fourteenth EU-China Summit was held in Beijing on 14th February 2012. Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of the People's Republic of China attended the meeting on behalf of China. The European Union was represented by Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.

1. Summit leaders applauded the important progress achieved in the development of EU-China relations in all fields and agreed that their comprehensive strategic partnership has grown both in width and in depth. They shared the view that, in an ever changing and increasingly inter-dependent world where their interests become more closely intertwined, they should strengthen their interaction and cooperation to better meet the opportunities and challenges in the new bilateral, multilateral and global framework. This strategic cooperation will not only boost their sustainable economic and social development, but will also help address the common challenges the world faces. The EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership is entering a new important stage of development. The two sides expressed the determination to set a good example for international cooperation in the 21st century, fully contributing to the cause of making this century one of peace, cooperation and development.

2. Both sides agreed to take a positive view of each other's development and render relevant support. China reaffirmed its continued support for the EU integration process. The EU side noted the sustained, steady and rapid growth of the Chinese economy as well as its important contribution to the global growth and reaffirmed its support for China's peaceful development and respect for China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

3. The two sides agreed that China and the EU share broad common interests, and where differences remain these should be discussed and handled in a spirit of mutual respect and equality. Both sides recognized the importance of accommodating each other's concerns for furthering the overall relationship taking a strategic perspective.

4. Both sides stressed the important role played by the EU-China Summit, the High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue, the Strategic Dialogue, and other dialogue mechanisms.

5. Both sides agreed that deepening understanding and mutual trust between the two peoples was vital to the sustained and stable development of EU-China relations. In this regard, the two sides agreed to establish the EU-China High Level People-to-People Dialogue and to hold its first meeting in the first half of 2012.

6. Both sides emphasized the importance of promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law. Both sides looked forward to the strengthening of the EU-China dialogue and cooperation on human rights based on equality and mutual respect and expressed their readiness to work together for constant progress on the ground. Both sides confirmed their commitment to cooperate with UN human rights mechanisms.

7. Both sides expressed the determination to fully exploit the opportunities brought by China's Twelfth Five-Year Plan and the Europe 2020 Strategy to foster synergies and to promote cooperation in all fields.

8. Both sides recognized that building closer EU-China economic relationsis of great significance to China, the EU and the world economy. Both sides agreed to enhance and deepen the bilateral dialogue and practical cooperation in the fields of macro-economy, trade and finance.

9. The two sides highlighted positive developments in the bilateral trade and investment relationship as a cornerstone of the strategic partnership. Among many mutually beneficial features of the relationship this was demonstrated by the fact that mutual trade was larger than ever before, economic integration had withstood pressures during the international crisis, Europe remained China's biggest export destination, and China was the EU's fastest developing export market. Both sides recognized the importance of continuing efforts to fight trade and investment protectionism.

10. Leaders stressed that particular importance should be given to working for the resolution of the Market Economy Status (MES) issue in a swift and comprehensive way.

11. The two sides welcomed companies' readiness to trade and invest in each other's economies. Leaders agreed that a rich in substance EU-China investment agreement would promote and facilitate investment in both directions. Negotiations towards this agreement would include all issues of interest to either side, without prejudice to the final outcome. They agreed to work towards the start of the negotiation as soon as possible. The two sides decided to hold the first meeting of the EU-China High Tech Trade Working Group as soon as possible, so as to facilitate trade in high technology. The two sides expressed their willingness to keep the momentum of negotiation on a bilateral agreement on the protection of geographical indications. They recognized the importance of protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights and will continue to actively develop the EU-China IPR Cooperation Project III. They also stressed the importance of their discussion on issues such as standards, public procurement and subsidies.

12. Leaders highlighted the importance of continued discussions on improving their respective policies concerning export credit among relevant agencies.

13. Leaders announced the establishment of the EU-China Partnership on Urbanisation, which aims at promoting exchanges and cooperation in a wide range of sustainable urban development. The two sides agreed to hold the first EU-China Mayors' Forum in 2012 and make joint efforts to make it a success.

14. China and the EU agreed to further deepen cooperation on energy. The two sides welcomed and supported the convening of a EU-China High Level Energy Meeting in June, in which the two sides will have in-depth exchanges on energy security and energy science and technology, as well as China's and the EU's energy development strategies and plans, with a view to identifying the way forward and key areas for future practical cooperation. They also underlined the enhancement of cooperation in the automotive sector, aiming at the promotion of the common objectives of reduction of energy consumption and emissions, notably via the development of electro-mobility.

15. The two sides agreed to further deepen cooperation in energy technology and continue to expand the support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) of both sides in carrying out cooperation in energy-related R&D and innovation. To that end, China has set up a special fund for Science and Technology Cooperation of SMEs in Energy Field, while the EU supports specific collaborative research activities through funds from the framework programme.

16. The two sides reiterated their resolve expressed respectively in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan and the Union's 2008 Climate Change and Energy package, as well as the work related to the low-carbon 2050 strategy, to transform their economies along a low carbon and green path consistent with economic development. They agreed to further enhance dialogue on climate change related domestic policies and share experiences on specific climate change legislation.

17. In the framework of the EU-China Climate Change Partnership, the two sides agreed to further intensify practical cooperation on issues with common concerns. Furthermore, they confirmed their commitment to cooperate on carbon capture and storage. The two sides agreed to continue to explore the possibilities of conducting practical cooperation on the Emission Trading System.

18. The two sides agreed to continue their dialogue on environmental policy and cooperation on environmental issues, including by launching a new cooperation project focusing on reduction of water pollution, waste policy and on reduction of heavy metal pollution. Both sides welcomed the results of the fourth EU-China ministerial dialogue on environmental policy.

19. Both sides welcomed progress made and agreed to further strengthen the cooperation in the context of the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement and to enhance the exchange of young researchers. They also agreed to engage in a broader exchange building on and ensuring synergy between existing cooperation fora dealing with science and technology innovation, with a view to sharing experience on best practices and identifying areas for cooperation, in particular to promote the effective development and deployment of technology innovative solutions to major societal challenges of common interest.

20. The two sides reaffirmed that they will continue the cooperation on the Civil Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-GALILEO following the 2003 Agreement, with an effort to make positive progress in the cooperation, and to seek and foster new cooperation areas in satellite navigation science and its application. Both sides applauded the efforts to sign the EU-China Cooperation on Space Elements of Consensus, support the establishment of a structured dialogue on space technology cooperation, and the holding of the EU-China Space Technology Cooperation Conference at an appropriate time.

 21. The two sides recognized the importance of deepening understanding and trust on cyber issues, and were committed to enhancing exchanges and cooperation in tackling obstacles and threats, in order to maximize the positive role of secure ICT and Internet in promoting economic and social development, as well as to exchanging views on shared risks. In this regard, the two sides agreed to set up a EU-China Cyber Taskforce.

22. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the success of the EU-China Year of Youth in 2011 and welcomed the recent launch of the EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue in 2012.

23. The two sides agreed to make efforts to advance exchanges and cooperation on sustainable tourism, and to work for the signing of the Joint Statement between the European Commission and the China National Tourism Administration on Cooperation in the Field of Sustainable Tourism as soon as possible.

24. Recognising the significant benefits accruing from enhanced people-to-people contacts, the leaders agreed to explore the possibility of facilitating mobility for Chinese and EU citizens, and strengthening cooperation on illegal immigration, while the EU and China will give special attention to the possibility of mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic passports.

25. The two sides agreed to explore the possibilities to establish a EU-China Center, as a one-stop center of information and activities between China and the EU.

26. The two sides are determined to enhance coordination and cooperation bilaterally and in such international institutions as the United Nations and the G20 and on major issues including global economic governance, financial stability, strengthening financial regulation, energy security, food safety and security, climate change and nuclear safety.

27. The two sides support the G20, as the premier forum of international economic cooperation, in playing a greater role in global economic governance. Both sides believe that the G20 members need to better coordinate their macroeconomic policies to ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth. In the coming months, the priority should be to restore consumer and investor confidence, promote economic recovery, maintain financial stability, reform international financial institutions and promote employment, especially youth employment. Both sides agreed to intensify communication and coordination and make joint efforts to implement the agreements of the G20 Cannes Summit and push for positive results at the coming Los Cabos Summit. Both sides supported the role of the Financial Stability Board in implementing commitments by the G20.

28. The leaders noted with grave concern the state of the WTO Doha Development Round negotiations. They reaffirmed their commitment towards an active process of multilateral trade liberalization and opposition to trade and investment protectionism. They urged WTO members to more fully explore feasible approaches to pragmatically advance the negotiations in 2012, building on the Doha mandate and progress already made. The leaders underlined the need to give priority to addressing issues of concerns for Least Developed Countries in the negotiations and to advance on other areas with a substantial development component, such as Trade Facilitation and non-tariff barriers (NTBs).

29. Both sides recognized the importance of achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals and the imperative to reduce global poverty. Both sides will support the international community in achieving the UN MDGs. They shared the views that the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 offers an opportunity to enhance green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and to reinforce the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development and agreed to work together to promote global cooperation in this regard.

30. The two sides welcomed the positive outcome of the international climate change negotiations in Durban. The two sides agreed to enhance coordination and cooperation in relation to the international climate change negotiations.

31. Leaders exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern such as the Iranian nuclear issue, North Africa, Syria, the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula and Burma / Myanmar and expressed the willingness to strengthen dialogue and cooperation to promote peace and security globally, such as counter-piracy and non-proliferation, and within their respective regions. They agreed that, in view of the fast changes taking place in today’s world, China and the EU should work in closer cooperation regarding regional and global issues.