Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso Jointly Meet Journalists
On February 14, 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso jointly met foreign and Chinese journalists at the Great Hall of the People after attending the 14th EU-China Summit and answered questions concerning China-EU relations, economic and trade cooperation between the two sides, European debt issues, and other related topics.
Concerning China-EU relations, Wen said that the overall development of China-EU relations remained stable against the ever-changing and complicated international situation in recent years. No matter in bilateral or multilateral areas, the interests of China and the EU are more closely intertwined. The coordination, communication and cooperation between the two sides is increasing and remarkable progress has been achieved in the development of China-EU relations. The growing momentum of China-EU cooperative relations becomes more obvious.
Premier Wen said that it's needless to say that the profound impact of the international financial crisis on the global politics, economy and security is still expanding. The crisis has intensified some long-accumulated contradictions and as also incurred many new problems. Both China and the EU are facing enormous challenges. Promoting reform, enhancing solidarity and deepening cooperation is the common choice of China and EU and the only right path for the two sides. In such a backdrop, the consensus reached during the summit will contribute to consolidating the wisdom and strength of the two sides and pushing forward China-EU relations in a more dynamic way.
Wen pointed out that first, China and the EU should understand and support each other in a more profound way, which is particularly important in such a complex and difficult situation. China has full confidence in its own future and China always remains vigilant of the problems and challenges it faces. China will unswervingly push forward reform and opening up to achieve the revitalization of the country and the nation. At the same time, China also hopes to see a stable and prosperous Europe and Europe's success in the integration process. China is willing to continue to carry out exchanges and dialogues with the EU in various fields, including human rights. Such dialogues should be established on the basis of mutual respect and on an objective and fair basis. Such dialogues should help to enhance mutual trust and cooperation. Second, China and the EU should expand pragmatic cooperation with an open and innovative mind. Such cooperation should be comprehensive, long-term, and mutually beneficial and promising. Facing the new round of global economic competition, China and the EU should look at common interests from a strategic height, strengthen planning and cooperation and strive for a win-win situation. Third, China and the EU should be committed to creating a peaceful and secure international environment. At present, the two sides should advocate dialogues and consultations and make the greatest efforts to promote the resolution of hot-spot issues, including Syrian and Iranian issues, by political and peaceful means.
Van Rompuy said that the leaders of the EU and China had a rich and constructive exchange of views at the summit. Both sides have a common determination to advance EU-China partnership. EU-China partnership is the core in the architecture of the world. The goal of the two sides is to turn such comprehensive strategic partnership into new opportunities.
José Manuel Barroso said that in the past 10 years China has become a very important player in regional and global affairs. China's economic growth and social development is unprecedented, which the European Union greatly appreciates.
He said that the leaders of the EU and China also discussed some new initiatives at the summit, for example, carrying out people-to-people dialogue, which is a very good supplement to the existing EU-China Trade Dialogue and Strategic Dialogue. He believed that this new third pillar will further strengthen the relationship between the EU and China.
Barroso said the EU and China have also established a new partnership on urbanization, which will promote bilateral cooperation in green economy, urban planning, energy guarantee, energy supply, immigration management and other related issues.
On China-EU economic and trade cooperation, Wen said that strengthening China-EU economic and trade cooperation is the most urgent task in the current China-EU relations. Such cooperation contains extensive contents. During this summit, Premier Wen made proposals to the EU in five areas, including expanding mutual investment, promoting balanced and sustainable development of bilateral trade, strengthening cooperation in R&D and innovation, deepening cooperation in energy and environmental fields, and pushing forward China-EU partnership on urbanization.
Wen stressed that even in the context of global economic downturn, most of the EU-invested enterprises in China have achieved sustained and rapid growth of profits and have constantly introduced new investment plans. This shows that the Chinese market is full of opportunities and vitalities.
Wen said that on the basis of fully honoring its WTO commitments, China will continue to expand market access, improve the laws and regulations governing foreign investment, strengthen intellectual protection, and continuously optimize the investment environment. The Chinese side welcomes the European companies to expand the Chinese market and will attach importance to addressing the related issues and take substantial measures to grant national treatment to the European companies.
Wen said that he also proposed to the leaders of the EU that the Chinese government encourages Chinese enterprises to invest in Europe and expects the EU to maintain the openness of its markets and create favorable conditions for project approval, personnel exchanges, policy consultancy, information exchange and other related areas. The two sides should step up consultation and launch negotiations on investment agreement at an early date so as to lay a legal foundation for the expansion of investment cooperation.
Van Rompuy said that in addition to the economic and trade cooperation, the EU and China also agreed to carry out further cooperation in the fields of innovation, research and development, technology, energy, network and other related areas.
Barroso said that the EU and China will start a series of important negotiations in 2012. The most important negotiation is the investment agreement negotiation, which will encourage two-way investment between the two sides. The EU is open and welcomes China's investment in the EU and hopes to see more and better development and growth in this area.
Van Rompuy also answered questions on China's market economy status. He said that the EU and China mentioned this issue for the first time in the joint statement of the EU-China Summit, which shows that both parties have a high degree of political will to solve this issue. This is also an important contribution of this summit.
With regard to European debt issues, Wen said that China has a sincere and firm will to support the EU to deal with the debt issues. China is confident in the euro and the European economy. China supports the EU to strengthen fiscal discipline and hopes that the European side could continue to deliver clear, powerful, positive messages to the outside world. China is ready to be more deeply involved in solving the European debt issues and would like to maintain close communication and collaboration with the EU.
Van Rompuy said that the EU side welcomes the attitude of Premier Wen and appreciates the various support rendered by the Chinese side. He said that the EU looks forward to carrying out close cooperation with China so as to enhance the stability of the euro area. One of the consensuses of this summit is that the EU and China agreed to start consultations on China's further involvement in solving the debt issues in Europe and discuss how to cooperate in this regard.
For Syria, Wen said that the most urgent thing is to prevent war and protect the Syrian people from further suffering. This is not only consistent with the fundamental interests of the Syrian people, but also conducive to the peace and stability of the entire Middle East. To achieve this goal, the Chinese side supports all efforts that comply with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. China is willing to strengthen communication with the Syrian parties and the international community and continue to play a constructive role. China will never shelter any party, including the Syrian government. The future and destiny of Syria should be decided by the Syrian people themselves.
As for the Iranian nuclear issue, Wen said that China and the EU have identical positions and concerns in terms of opposing the development and possession of nuclear weapons by Iran or any other country in the Middle East and maintaining international nuclear non-proliferation mechanism. China is actively engaged with the Iranian side and is intensifying the efforts. China just sent a delegation to Tehran for the purpose of bringing Iran and the six countries back to the table to have earnest and effective dialogues on Iranian nuclear issue as quickly as possible. Wen expressed the hope that all parties could work towards this goal and create a favorable atmosphere to this end.
In addition, Premier Wen also answered questions concerning Tibet. Wen said that Tibet is an inalienable part of China. Tibetan fellows are a member of the great family of the Chinese nation and they are brothers of the Chinese nation. The Chinese government has long been committed to the economic and social development of Tibet and continues to increase efforts to support the development of Tibet. China has identified new development plans for Tibet with the main goal of enhancing and improving the lives of farmers and herdsmen in Tibet. Tibet practices regional autonomy by ethnic groups. The government attaches importance to protecting the ecological environment and traditional culture of Tibet. The government respects and protects the freedom of religious belief of the Tibetan people. Any attempt to incite a small number of monks to take drastic action to undermine the stability of Tibet is not conducive to the development of the Tibetan region, is not consistent with the interests of the Tibetan people, and is not popular among the people.