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EU issues policy paper on ties with China

2006-10-24

    STRASBOURG, France, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission (EC), the executive arm of the European Union (EU), issued a new policy paper here on Tuesday, regarding the bloc's relations with China.

    Entitled "EU-China: Closer partners, growing responsibilities,"the 10-page document expounds on the importance of developing the EU-China relations, the increasing strength of China, and the policies and measures the EU would adopt to boost ties.

    This is the sixth policy paper that the commission has issued on EU-China relations. It is also the first China policy paper released by the current EC, headed by President Jose Manuel Barroso.

EU to seek "engagement", "partnership" with China

    STRASBOURG, France, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The European Union will continue to seek "engagement" and "partnership" with China, an EU policy paper released by the bloc's executive arm said on Tuesday.

    "The EU's fundamental approach to China must remain one of engagement and partnership. But with a closer strategic partnership, mutual responsibilities increase," the European Commission (EC) said in the document.

    Entitled "EU-China: Closer partners, growing responsibilities," the 10-page document focuses on the importance of developing the EU-China relations, the increasing strength of China, and the policies and measures the EU would adopt to boost bilateral ties.

    The document is the first of its kind adopted by the current EC, headed by President Jose Manuel Barroso.

    The paper acknowledged China to have come up as a major power over the past decade, saying that the Asian country has become the world's 4th largest economy and 3rd largest exporter, as well as an increasingly important political power.

    "China's re-emergence is a welcome phenomenon," EC external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner told a press conference here.

    "The core message we want to send to Beijing is that we should continue to engage with China, and deepen our strategic partnership," she added.

    The document said Europe needs to "respond effectively to China's renewed strength."

    "Given China's size and phenomenal growth, these changes have a profound impact on global politics and trade," it said.

    "To tackle the key challenges facing Europe today - including climate change, employment, migration, security - we need to leverage the potential of a dynamic relationship with China," it said.

    In 2003, the EU and China agreed to set up a strategic partnership.

    The European Commission believes that the bilateral relations between the two countries are "mature" and mutually beneficial.

    "Some differences remain, but are being managed effectively, and relations are increasingly mature and realistic," said the paper.

    The EU and China need to work together as they assume more active and responsible international roles, it said.

    The goal is to create a situation in which China and the EU can bring their respective strengths into play, in dealing with global problems, said the paper.

    The policy paper is accompanied with a policy document on trade and investment titled "Competition and Partnership."

    "China is the single most important challenge for EU trade policy," the document said, noting that EU-China trade doubled between 2000 and 2005 and that Europe is China's largest export market and China Europe's largest source of imports.

    "Competitively priced Chinese products have helped keep inflation and interest rates in Europe lower. European companies have gained from their investments in China. But competition from China has raised serious challenges for Europe in some important manufacturing sectors," the document added.

    "There is ample scope for a continued mutually beneficial tradepartnership between Europe and China," the document said.

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