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Joint Statement of the 10th China-EU Summit

2007-12-03

    BEIJING, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday released a joint statement of the 10th China-EU Summit, held in Beijing last Wednesday. Following is the full text of the statement.

Joint Statement of the 10th China-EU Summit

    The Tenth China-EU Summit was held in Beijing on 28 November 2007. Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of China attended the meeting on behalf of the People's Republic of China. The EU was represented by the President of the European Council, Prime Minister Jose Socrates of the Portuguese Republic and the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso.

    Leaders of the two sides had an overall review of the development of the bilateral relations since the establishment of the mechanism of China-EU Summit in 1998. They agreed that over the decade, China-EU relations have made a historical progress. Leaders expressed their satisfaction with the comprehensive cooperation between the two sides in broad fields and at all levels, and with the growing maturity of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.

    Leaders welcomed the development of China-EU political relations. They hold that the full and effective political dialogue mechanism established between the two sides had played a positive role in enhancing mutual understanding and trust, and expanding common ground and cooperation, and serves as an important foundation for stronger China-EU political mutual trust.

    Leaders of China and the EU recalled the deepening and expanding economic cooperation and trade between the two sides, and emphasized that China and the EU are becoming each other's most important economic and trade partners thanks to efforts by both sides over the past 10 years, and that bilateral economic cooperation and trade had become one of the most important driving forces behind further strengthening of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. Leaders discussed the necessary actions to be taken to achieve a more balanced trade and economic partnership.

    Leaders made a comprehensive summing up of the achievements made in China-EU all round cooperation in all fields, and pointed out that the increasingly closer sectoral dialogues had become an effective platform for policy coordination between the two sides, and had contributed significantly to stronger mutually beneficial cooperation.

    Leaders stated that China-EU consultation and coordination on major international and regional issues -- in particular Africa, Myanmar, the Korean peninsula, Iran, the Middle East and Kosovo, as well as ASEM -- as an important part of the overall China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, had played an important role in promoting world peace, stability and sustainable development.

    The two sides briefed each other on their respective latest developments. China welcomed the new and significant progress made in EU integration, as a result of the EU agreement on a new Reform Treaty, which further strengthens Europe as a global player. The EU welcomed the Seventeenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, and the application of its Scientific Outlook on Development, pursue a win-win strategy of opening up, and follow unswervingly the path of peaceful development. Leaders stated that the current world is now undergoing extensive and profound changes, and that as comprehensive strategic partners, both at a crucial stage of development, China and the EU would, upholding the spirit of democracy, harmony and collaboration for win-win results, continue to work together to promote democracy in international relations, advance a more balanced development of economic globalization to ensure mutual benefit and win-win progress. They would work to promote human civilization, be committed to the peaceful settlement of international disputes, support each other and make concerted efforts to jointly safeguard planet Earth for the benefit of all mankind. Reaffirming their commitment in favour of preserved environment and sustainable development, they would work to promote the building of a harmonious world of durable peace and common prosperity. This not only serves the fundamental interests of the two sides, but also world peace, stability, and development and human rights.

    To this end, leaders of the two sides agreed:

    1. The two sides will further enhance political dialogue and consultation at all levels, and continue to maintain consultation and coordination on major international and regional issues to enhance political mutual trust and expand strategic common ground.

    2. Leaders expressed their mutual satisfaction on the successful launch and start of negotiations on a Partnership and Co-operation Agreement which will encompass the full scope of their bilateral relationship, including enhanced co-operation on political matters. These negotiations will also update the 1985 China-EEC Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement, which will be administered in a relatively independent manner, taking into consideration the global objectives of the China-EU strategic partnership.

    3The EU reaffirmed its commitment to one China policy and expressed its hope for a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question through constructive dialogue. The EU reiterated its concern over the intended referendum on UN membership in the name of Taiwan as this could lead to a unilateral change of the status quo across Taiwan straits to which the EU is opposed. In this context, the EU expressed its concern over the Taipei authorities' intentions about the future status of the island.

    4. Leaders also discussed the EU arms embargo. The Chinese side reiterated its view that lifting the arms embargo would be conducive to the sound development of the China-EU relations and urged the EU to lift the arms embargo at an early date. The EU side recognized the importance of this issue and confirmed its willingness to carry forward work towards lifting the embargo on the basis of the Joint Statement of the 2004 China-EU Summit and subsequent European Council Conclusions.

    5. Leaders reiterated their willingness to carry out cooperation in the fields of non-proliferation and disarmament. On the basis of the Joint Declaration of the European Union and the People's Republic of China on Non-proliferation and Arms Control, the two sides will continue to enhance dialogue and deepen practical cooperation, building on the successful record in several areas, such as export control.

    6. The two sides emphasized their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and continued to place a high value on the China-EU human rights dialogue, including the accompanying legal seminar. They underlined the importance of concrete steps in the field of human rights and reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen dialogue and cooperation in this field on the basis of equality and mutual respect, while making efforts to achieve more meaningful and positive results on the ground. The EU welcomed China's commitment to ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as soon as possible. In respect of the global fight against genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, they also noted the importance of the International Criminal Court.

    Both sides confirmed their commitment to co-operate with UN human rights mechanism and their respect for international human rights standards provided for in relevant international human rights instruments including the rights of minorities. The two sides were committed to supporting the UN Human Rights Council in performing its function to address human rights issues in a credible, objective and non-selective manner. Both sides undertook to strengthen their communication and coordination in this regard in line with UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251.

    7. Emphasising the paramount need for effective multilateralism, leaders stressed their strong support for a fair, just and rules-based multilateral international system with the UN playing a central role. They reiterated their commitment to promote peace and security, development and human rights, as recognized in the 2005 UN World Summit outcome document. The two sides expressed their support for reform of the United Nations system which would improve the UN's strength, efficiency and effectiveness to cope with new and existing threats and challenges. The two sides maintained that multilateralism served as an important means to resolve international disputes. They will remain committed to promoting the establishment of a fair and effective collective security mechanism in the spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and the settling of differences and disputes in a peaceful manner through diplomatic channels. The two sides support the United Nations, and recognize its primacy in international affairs through the Security Council which has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

    8. The two sides reaffirmed their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations without qualification, committed by whomever, whenever and for whatever purposes. They also reaffirmed their recognition of the United Nations as the only truly global forum for the fight against terrorism. By adopting the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by consensus on 8 September 2006, the General Assembly and the Member States of the UN demonstrated their unity and resolve in combating terrorism. China and the EU both expressed support for the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force in coordinating the implementation of the Global Strategy. They looked forward to the review which would take place in 2008 to strengthen the consensus achieved to date. Leaders also emphasized their continued commitment to reaching an agreement on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) as soon as possible.

    The two sides stressed the importance of multilateralism in the fight against terrorism and underlined the importance of universal adherence to, and full implementation of, all UN Conventions and Protocols related to acts of terrorism.

    Both sides expressed the need to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and supported the view that terrorism should not be linked to any religion or culture, and there should be consistency in the fight against terrorism.

    Leaders recognized that any measures undertaken to prevent and combat terrorism must comply with obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law. Effective counter-terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are not conflicting, but complementary and mutually reinforcing goals.

    9. Leaders gave a positive assessment of the progress made by Africa in the fields of peace and development and of the efforts of African countries and the African Union in promoting African integration. They reiterated their commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and global sustainable development in a balanced and coordinated way.

    Leaders recalled the successful cooperation since the last Summit, at all levels, in the efforts of the international community to facilitate a solution to the Darfur crisis and underlined the need to make further progress as regards the Darfur peace negotiations as well as the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The leaders expressed the objective to see the Africa Union/UN hybrid peace keeping operation UNAMID soon to be deployed; they noted the progress in preparation of the operation MINURCAT and EUFOR Chad/RCA recalling the common aim of contributing to peace and stability in Darfur and the neighbouring regions.

    10. Leaders welcomed more practical cooperation by the two sides through their respective existing cooperation mechanisms with Africa, such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the EU-Africa Summit, so as to contribute to Africa's peace, stability and sustainable development on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. The two sides agreed to continue their dialogue on African issues, and actively explore effective ways and channels of cooperation among China, the EU and Africa in appropriate areas. The EU invited China to attend the EU-Africa Summit as an observer. China invited the EU Commissioner for Development to visit China.

    11. China and the EU confirmed their full support for the good offices efforts of Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Special adviser of the UN Secretary General, with a view to advancing democracy in Myanmar. Both sides agreed on the need to see tangible progress in the domestic process, with dialogue among the parties concerned.

    12. Leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to work towards lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, including the effective denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Leaders welcomed the important progress that has been made in the Six Party talks process with a view to implementing the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005 through the steps agreed in February and October 2007. They welcomed the shutdown of the Yongbyon facility and look forward to its full disablement and dismantlement as well as the complete and correct declaration by DPRK of all its nuclear programmes. Leaders also welcomed the steps agreed at the Inter-Korean Summit in October and the follow-up steps envisaged regarding an eventual peace treaty, economic integration, and Korean unification. 

    13. Leaders noted the latest report by the IAEA Director General on Iran's nuclear programme and the implementation of UNSC Resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007). They reiterated their commitment to seek a comprehensive, long-term and proper solution by diplomatic means and through negotiation and dialogue. They reaffirmed the Statement by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States with the support of the High Representative of the European Union, 28 September 2007 and they urged Iran to fully comply with Resolutions 1737 and 1747.

    14. Leaders reaffirmed their support for a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on existing agreements which include the relevant UN Resolutions and the principles laid down in the Road Map. In that context, leaders welcomed the ongoing bilateral discussions between Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas. They expressed their hope that this would allow the Parties to move forward to the creation of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours. Leaders expressed their support for the recent international meeting in Annapolis, which they hope will provide the first step towards a comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. China and the EU confirmed that the international community stands ready to support the political process, including support for the crucial implementation period.

    15. Leaders discussed the issue of Kosovo and reiterated support for the mediating effort of the international community including the EU.

    16. On the emerging regional architecture in Asia, the EU welcomes China's contribution to strengthen open and transparent regional cooperation in Asia, and appreciates China's constructive and active role in this respect. China welcomes the EU's constructive contributions to the regional political architecture in Asia-Pacific. Both China and the EU express their support for further regional cooperation as demonstrated by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Regional Forum, as well as the enhancement of EU-ASEAN relations. China welcomes the EU's interest in contributing to the East Asia regional cooperation process and its intention to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC).

    17. The two sides recognized ASEM as an important framework for multilateral dialogue and political, economic, social and cultural cooperation between Asia and Europe. They recognised the intensifying economic cooperation as a key component of Asia-Europe relations. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the process through constructive dialogues and action-oriented programmes, to ensure the implementation of the 2006 Helsinki Declaration on the Future of ASEM and the success of the 7th ASEM Summit to be held in China in 2008.

    18. Leaders agreed to enhance cooperation to ensure smooth progress of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    19. Leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in and dialogue on sustainable economic and social development, especially in areas of trade and business exchanges, climate change, environment and energy, human resources development and public administration. Both parties will increase efforts to support corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, including through sustainable production and consumption patterns and a more efficient use of natural resources.

    20. Leaders agreed to enhance cooperation on environment protection, focusing on cooperation in areas such as sustainable production and consumption, pollution control and management, natural resource management, river basin management, biodiversity conservation, international environment governance, emergency response to environmental accidents, chemicals management, and disposal and management of dangerous wastes. They also agreed to promote clean technology transfer conducive to their cooperation, and encouraged the adoption of stricter environmental standards in mutual investment. The two sides are determined to continue their joint effort to tackle illegal logging as an important contribution to the preservation of natural resources and biodiversity, mitigation of climate change, and the economic development in the timber producing countries.

    21. Leaders stressed the great importance they attached to the issue of climate change, and their willingness to strengthen cooperation to jointly meet the serious challenge of climate change, the urgency of which was unequivocally confirmed by the latest scientific findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). China and the EU are committed to the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level which would prevent dangerous anthropogenic climate interference with the climate system, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

    The leaders reviewed the bilateral cooperation under the China-EU Partnership on Climate Change and called for progress to be made, including on research of near-zero emissions coal power generation technology through carbon capture and storage, as well as development of concrete cooperation projects to strengthen China's participation in the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism.

    They agreed to step up their efforts to further enhance the bilateral cooperation, including their cooperation on technology development and transfer. China and the EU agreed to actively implement the rolling work plan of China-EU Partnership on Climate Change covering the period 2008-2009, including cooperation on province-level climate change programmes in China, climate change adaptation strategies and public awareness initiatives.

    The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. They reiterated, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, the need for developed countries to continue to take the lead in reducing GHG emissions beyond 2012 and to assist developing countries in enhancing their contributions to addressing climate change. They are committed to moving forward in the UN forum and called on all parties to actively and constructively participate in UNFCCC Conference in Bali in December 2007. They welcomed the progress achieved in the "Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing the implementation of the Convention" and agreed to work towards launching a process on a comprehensive post-2012 arrangement at this year's UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Bali so as to enhance the implementation of the Convention and aim to complete work under this process as soon as possible but no later than 2010. They also emphasized the importance of speedy and substantive progress in the negotiations of the Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for developed countries beyond 2012 under the Kyoto Protocol and aim to complete work under this process before the end of 2009. They underlined their belief that an integrated approach to climate change and energy is crucial, and particularly stressed the need to exploit the synergies between the promotion of energy security, improved air quality and addressing greenhouse gas emissions to ensure consistency between meeting the ultimate objectives of the UNFCCC and their respective energy policy goals. They agreed on the importance of the engagement, investment of and provision of incentives to private sector in tackling climate change and on the significant potential economic opportunities of China-EU cooperation in this area. 

    22. Leaders recognized the crucial role of technology in addressing the issue of climate change in particular for the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and for adaptation. Both sides consider technology as a major instrument to address climate change. They emphasised the importance of a post-2012 agreement to help within the context of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol to make clean technologies accessible and affordable to developing countries by technology transfer, deployment and dissemination as well as to strengthen the global carbon market and to intensify cooperation on the adaptation to the increasing adverse impacts of climate change.

    Leaders witnessed the signing of a 500 million euro framework loan to the People's Republic of China from the European Investment Bank to support projects that contribute to combating climate change.

    23. The two sides maintained that the energy issue is a global issue which is closely related to the economical and social development of all nations. Both China and the EU recognized the importance of enhancing bilateral communication and cooperation on this issue, and agreed to take effective measures and continue to promote their mutually beneficial and practical cooperation in the energy field. The two sides will actively prepare for the Seventh China-EU Conference on Energy Cooperation in 2008 and work together to ensure positive progress of the second China-EU Dialogue on Energy and Transport Strategies. The leaders expressed their support for closer co-operation on increasing efficiencies along the entire coal value chain and for making further progress on the development including research of near zero emissions coal technology. This would assist both sides in securing the economic and environmental benefits of recent developments in coal technologies and practice.

    Leaders endorsed cooperation in establishing a China-EU Clean Energy Centre. The two sides will continue to conduct consultations in this regard with a view to reaching agreement and opening the Centre in 2008. Projects and initiatives pertaining to increased energy efficiency could be part of such future cooperation.

    24. Both sides agreed to establish by the end of March 2008 a High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue between the European Commission and the State Council of China at the level of Vice-Premier which will discuss strategies in China-EU trade, investment and economic cooperation and coordinate bilateral projects, studies and develop plans in priority sectors. It will cover issues affecting the trade imbalance, including inter alia effective market access, intellectual property rights, environment, high technology and energy in order to find concrete means to increase trade in a balanced way. To this end, the Chinese Minister of Commerce and the EU Trade Commissioner will meet as necessary to prepare this mechanism and its agenda.

    25. The High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue will review the concerns of China including progress on the issue of Market Economy Status (MES) made in other fora.

    26. The two sides agreed to enhance their cooperation in macroeconomic policy, and promote exchange of best practice in economic and social management and public service among their government departments. The two sides will continue to deepen financial dialogue, and conduct exchange and cooperation in China-EU macroeconomic situation, fiscal and financial policies, reforms and regulation of financial sectors.

    27. The Parties welcomed the discussions held in Beijing on 27-28 November between the Chinese representatives and their counterparts from Euro group on macroeconomic issues. During these discussions, the two sides believed that it was necessary to make concerted efforts to adopt comprehensive measures, intensify structural adjustment, and avoid drastic movement of exchange rates, so as to make due contribution to the orderly adjustment of global imbalances. They took note that a working group involving the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and European Central Bank (ECB) will deal with the exchange rates related issues.

    28. Leaders shared the view that a high level of product safety is key to consumer confidence and reciprocal trade. To this end, the competent authorities of both sides have established a comprehensive cooperative relationship in recent years and carriedout good, close and fruitful cooperation and exchanges. Both sides are willing to continue and deepen their constructive dialogue, regularly exchange information and aim at measurable, continuous improvements.

    29. The two sides will take full advantage of the China-EU dialogue mechanism on agriculture and rural areas, and continue to strengthen their cooperation in the fields of prevention and control of animal diseases, quality and safety of agricultural products, agricultural trade as well as management of safety of genetically modified organisms.

    30. Leaders agreed to maintain close consultation and dialogue through the competition policy dialogue mechanism, and strengthen cooperation in the field of enforcement of anti-monopoly law and international competition policies. The European Union congratulated China on the adoption of the Anti-Monopoly Law in August 2007. The EU values the competition dialogue greatly and will continue its support to the relevant Chinese competition bodies and authorities in the implementation of the Anti-Monopoly Law.

    31. Leaders welcomed the China-EU Business Summit held in Beijing on 27-28 November 2007. Both sides underlined the importance of involving more actively stakeholders in China-EU trade and investment-related dialogues, and expressed their commitment to continue to support the cooperation between the two business communities, with a view to creating more business opportunities and expanding the scope of development for enterprises.

    32. The two sides agree that further facilitation is needed for EU SMEs to operate in China and Chinese SMEs to operate in the EU, to contribute to an enabling trade environment. The two sides, therefore, welcome the European initiative of conducting a feasibility study on a European Centre in China to assist European SMEs investing in or exporting to China by providing information and assistance and promoting exchanges with Chinese government agencies, business associations and economic operators.

    33. Leaders emphasized the positive results of the China-EU Science and Technology Year (CESTY), gathering researchers, industry, including SMEs and academics, and expressed the willingness to continue to strengthen the existing scientific and technological cooperation, explore new bilateral cooperation mechanisms and jointly identify priority areas of cooperation. They reiterated the recognition of the importance of Science &Technology cooperation for sustainable mutual benefit.

    The leaders welcomed the conclusions of the 6th Steering Committee meeting of the China-EU Science & Technology Agreement, which was held in Beijing on 14 November 2007. The two parties agreed to move towards a more strategic scientific cooperation through the launch of EU-China joint research projects. These projects will be co-funded by both parties, in full respect of the EU and China funding principles, laws and rules.

    The leaders acknowledged the very important participation of Chinese researchers in the first calls of the 7th Research Framework Programme. They agreed to facilitate also the participation of European researchers in Chinese funded programmes. The leaders encouraged programmes to assist the mobility of researchers.

    Both sides will take all necessary steps to renew in due course the China-EU Science&Technology Agreement that will expire by December 2009 and, as a first step in this direction, announced that they will carry out an assessment of their cooperation prior to the renewal as foreseen in the present Agreement. 

    34. The two sides expressed their satisfaction on the entry into force of the ITER agreement on 24 October 2007 and on the first official meeting of the ITER Council on 27-28 November 2007.The two sides have agreed to start the discussions towards the establishment of a bilateral agreement between EURATOM and China in the field of fusion energy research to complement the ITER Agreement.

    The two sides expressed their satisfaction for having concluded the discussions on the R&D agreement for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. They hope that the agreement will enter into force very soon, allowing cooperation in the area of nuclear fission. In this context they note that EURATOM and China are now active members of the Generation IV International Forum, a situation that should foster bilateral cooperation.

    35. The two sides will continue to advance practical cooperation through the China- EU dialogue on the Information Society.

    36. The two sides agreed to work within the framework of the Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the European Community on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters, to further standardize and strengthen customs cooperation that reflects the principle of reciprocity. They will continue to enhance customs cooperation regarding intellectual property enforcement, and implement the Smart and Secure Trade Lanes Pilot Project which is aimed at ensuring security and facilitation of the China -EU trade supply chain.

    37. Leaders expressed their satisfaction over the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in the fields of road transport and inland waterways and expressed the hope for quick implementation. The two sides welcomed the ratification by EU Member States and China of the Maritime Agreement and the successful results of the 4th meeting on the implementation of the2002 China-EU maritime transport agreement held in Rotterdam and supported the further deepening of their cooperation in all the relevant areas.

    38. Leaders took stock of progress in the area of civil aviation and stressed the need for closer cooperation between China and the EU in this vital area in order to jointly promote solutions to the important common challenges facing the global aviation community.

    Leaders reiterated the need to restore legal certainty to the existing bilateral air service agreements through joint efforts and intensified consultations, taking into account the concerns of both sides. Leaders also agreed to strengthen technical and technological cooperation in a broad range of fields in aviation and called for a swift conclusion of an agreement laying down a comprehensive framework for future China-EU technical cooperation in areas including aviation safety, security, environment, economic regulation and air traffic management, including the possible participation of China in Europe's SESAR programme for a new generation of air traffic management systems.

    39. China and the EU underlined the importance of cultural relations between the EU and China, especially in the context of the process of implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Both sides welcomed the Joint Declaration on culture, signed by the European Commission and China in October 2007, which clearly expresses a strong convergence of views on the role of culture in our societies and in a globalizing world and which reaffirms a strong commitment of both sides to further enhance cooperation and establish a structured policy dialogue in the field of culture.

    40. The two sides stressed that they would implement the WHO International Health Regulations (2005) in real earnest, safeguard public health and continue to follow with concern the spread of HIV/AIDS, human infected highly pathogenic avian influenza and other new epidemics. They will maintain and promote information and technology exchanges and cooperation in this field, and enhance cooperation and exchanges in areas of food sanitation and safety, and health personnel training. The two sides looked forward to the signing by China and the European Commission of a Memorandum of Understanding in the fields of animal health and the exchange of avian influenza viruses between reference laboratories in China and the EU for the purpose of improving scientific knowledge on this important disease.

    41. Leaders expressed their satisfaction on the cooperation between China and the EU in the field of employment and social affairs, as an important element of the dialogue on sustainable development and decent work. They emphasized the outcomes of the 2nd High Level Round Table on Social Security which took place in Berlin in June 2007, and highlighted its contribution to the current reforms in China. They are encouraged by the ongoing cooperation in the field of labour law, and in particular by the exchange of experience in labour dispute settlement, with a bilateral event taking place in Beijing in November 2007. They strongly support the intention to establish a structured dialogue in the field of health and safety at work, and encourage the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed early 2008.

    The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of social assistance, social welfare and social affairs.

    42. Leaders recognised the importance of a healthy and developing civil society for the sustainability of the reform process both in China and the EU. Leaders were of the view that the continued exchanges and pragmatic cooperation between the China Economic and Social Council and the European Economic and Social Committee constitute a part of the relationship. Leaders welcomed the strengthening of the civil society dialogue between the two sides and encouraged the implementation of the joint statements of the two Round Tables.

    43. The two sides will remain committed to further enhancing and expanding their exchanges and cooperation in legal and judicial areas with a view to enhancing mutual understanding and friendship.

    44. The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in areas such as anti-terrorism, combating transnational organized crimes, human smuggling and trafficking in persons and drug-related crimes.

    45. Leaders underlined that facilitating people-to-people exchanges and combating illegal migration remained a priority for both sides. Leaders also discussed issues of readmission and visa facilitation. They reiterated their willingness to open negotiations on issues of their respective concern and agreed to start concrete cooperation on related issues as soon as possible. Leaders also welcomed significant progress in the implementation of the tourism agreement (ADS) and encouraged the further intensification of cooperation.

    46. Leaders agreed to speedily initiate the meeting mechanism of China-EU on youth affairs at ministerial level.

    Leaders supported and encouraged the enhancement of exchanges and cooperation between scholars and think tanks of the two sides. The EU and China emphasised their commitment to strengthen China-EU academic cooperation and exchanges by further stimulating the participation of their academic institutions, students and scholars in the Erasmus Mundus programme External Cooperation Window and Chinese Government Scholarship Programme (EU Window). The EU welcomed the launch of the China- EU Language Exchange Project ( EU Window).

    Both sides welcomed the Joint Declaration on education and vocational training which was signed in October 2007 and which will set the basis for a structured policy dialogue that will allow for regular exchanges of best practice, reviews of policy developments and challenge, and promoting knowledge-building and sharing on horizontal and sectoral issues of common interest for the European Community and China.

    Leaders welcomed the cooperation on establishing a Europe-China School of Law in China.

    The leaders welcomed the successful launch of the China-Europe Business Management Training Project.

    47. The Leaders welcomed the progress in the EU-China development co-operation programme. The two sides noted with satisfaction that the recently finalised Multiannual Indicative Programme for 2007-2010 makes 128 million euro available, from the EC budget, for support in areas covered by sectoral dialogues, the environment, energy and climate change and human resources development.

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