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China drafts new blueprint for EU ties
April 2, 2014, 5:53 am

China's President Xi Jinping, second left, his wife Peng Liyuan, right, Belgian King Philippe and his wife Queen Mathilde, attend a ceremony on a podium at the Burg square in Bruges, Belgium, Tuesday, April 1, 2014 [AP]

China’s President Xi Jinping, second left, his wife Peng Liyuan, right, Belgian King Philippe and his wife Queen Mathilde, attend a ceremony on a podium at the Burg square in Bruges, Belgium, Tuesday, April 1, 2014 [AP]

China on Wednesday issued a blueprint for defining its policy objectives towards building better ties with the EU.

This is China’s second policy paper in attempts to smoothen troubled ties with the European Union.

The 10-part document reviews the progress of China-EU ties in the last decade and also lays down goals for furthering of cooperation with the bloc of 28-member states.

The EU had on Monday announced it would consider a multi-billion-dollar trade deal with China.

Aiming to bring the two biggest markets in the world closer, the policy paper released on Wednesday says China will attempt to work with the EU to better align China’s comprehensive deepening of reform with the EU’s reform and readjustment, draw upon each other’s reform experience.

A joint statement released in Brussels described the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the EU headquarters as a “historic landmark”.

The blueprint also refers to friction areas like the EU’s criticism of China’s human rights records as well as economic and trade disputes.

“China believes that these issues should be properly handled through dialogue in the spirit of equality and mutual respect and encourages the EU to move in the same direction,” said the paper.

“China will continue to urge the EU to ease its restrictions on and facilitate high-tech product and technology export to China, so as to release the great potential of bilateral high-tech trade,” it added.

China and the EU have earlier faced off in the bitterest of trade disputes when the EU initiated dumping and subsidy probes on Chinese solar panels.

Beijing had threatened to retaliate by imposing punitive duties of its own on European imports of wine and polysilicon, a material used in solar panels.

The two sides had come to an agreement in December last year after stiff negotiations.

Beijing has urged the EU to lift its arms embargo on China at the earliest and also asked the EU to oppose “double standards” on counter-terrorism, said the paper on Wednesday.

China has criticized international media reports on recent terror attacks on China that have accused Chinese authorities of heavy-handedness and a clampdown on religious freedom.

China is the EU’s second largest trading partner. The EU has been China’s top trading partner for 10 years. The annual trade volume has exceeded 550 billion US dollars.

Trade between the EU and China has doubled since 2003 to more than $1.4 billion a day.

 

TBP and Agencies

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