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The 20th Summit between the EU and China held today in Beijing has underlined that the EU-China partnership has reached a new level of importance for European and Chinese citizens and for the international community more broadly. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk represented the European Union at the Summit. The People's Republic of China was represented by Premier Li Keqiang.
"I have always been a strong believer in the potential of the EU-China partnership", said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. "Europe is China's largest trading partner and China is our second largest. The trade in goods between us is worth over €1.5 billion every single day. But we also know that we can do so much more. This is why it is so important that today we have made progress on the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. That shows that we want to create more opportunities for people in China and in Europe."
Both China and Europe have come a long way in the last decades and they are still changing and growing. There used to be a relationship between a developed power and a developing country. Today, the focus is very much on the sharing of knowledge, know-how and experience between equal partners. Trade and business continue to be at the core of EU - China relations but the relationship is expanding.
"I am more convinced than ever that, in the era of globalisation and of interdependence, multilateralism must be at the heart of what we do. We expect all our partners to respect international rules and commitments that they have taken, notably within the framework of the World Trade Organisation", said President Juncker, confirming the EU and China's support to the rules-based, open and multilateral trading system committed to complying with existing WTO rules.
Good progress was made on the ongoing bilateral Investment Agreement negotiations to promote and protect each other’s’ growing investments The EU and China also agreed to conclude the negotiations on so-called Geographical Indications before the end of October.
The European Union and China have committed to step up their cooperation for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Both sides have underlined, strong determination to fight climate change and demonstrate global leadership. They have also signed a Partnership Agreement on Oceans which contains clear commitments to protect the marine environment against pollution, including plastic litter, combat illegal fishing and explore potential business and research opportunities, based on clean technologies.
At the Summit, EU and Chinese leaders discussed also ways to support a peaceful solution on the Korean Peninsula; their commitment to full and effective implementation of the Iran nuclear deal; joint, coordinated work on the peace process in Afghanistan; and the situation in eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. They also discussed other foreign and security challenges, such as in the Middle East, Libya, and Africa.