Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) meets with European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Beijing, April 25, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso jointly announced here on Friday the start of the Sino-EU high-level economic and trade dialogue.
The two made the announcement at a press conference here after talks.
The dialogue was co-hosted by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson on Friday afternoon.
In his two-hour talk with Barroso, Wen said the Sino-EU high-level economic and trade dialogue would become an important platform to realize mutual benefit and joint success.
He said the EU was China's largest partner for economic, trade, scientific and technological cooperation, and that Sino-EU practical cooperation had brought about great benefits for both sides.
China and the EU had established more than 40 dialogue and consultation channels in politics, economy, finance, technology, energy and education, among others.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) and European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso meet journalists after their talks in Beijing, April 25, 2008.(Xinhua Photo)
"It was in the common interests of both sides to strengthen cooperation between China and the EU," Wen said.
He noted mutual benefits between the two sides greatly outweighed the contradictions and differences, and with respect and trust, the China-EU relationship would be further developed.
Wen said understanding and trust between the EU and China had been greatly strengthened in the past decade, and would be further reinforced in the upcoming dialogue.
Hailing the smooth momentum of the EU-China relations, Barroso said exchanges and cooperation between the two in fields of politics, economy and trade, science and technology and human science were active and constructive.
Barroso is leading a large delegation of nine commissioners, one-third of the EU executive, including trade chief Mandelson, for discussions on topics ranging from intellectual property protection to climate change in a bid to strengthen the China-European partnership.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) and European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso meet journalists after their talks in Beijing, April 25, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
According to Barroso, it was the first time the EU had sent such a large high-level delegation to visit China, which showed the high attention of the EU to fostering and deepening relations and cooperation.
The EU considered the stability and the prosperity of China of paramount importance for the international community and had expressed its appreciation for the successful opening up and reform of the country over the past 30 years, Barroso said. He added the EU understood the tough task China faced as a developing country and supported the government's opening-up policy for all-round development and better living condition of its people.
The EU would like to join hands with China to confront challenges and opportunities brought about by globalization, he said.
The EU deals with the relations with China from a strategic and long-term perspective, and hopes to discuss frankly on bilateral and international issues on a basis of mutual respect so as to promote understanding and trust, he said.
Wen and Barroso reached extensive consensus in various areas during their talks.
They agreed to expand economic and trade cooperation between the two sides and jointly promote the Doha round talks process, and to continue to promote the Sino-EU comprehensive strategic partnership and maintain high-level contacts and consultations at various levels.
The two pledged to insist on dialogues and consultations to properly handle differences, based on the principle of equity, openness and mutual benefits.
They agreed to upgrade the mode for scientific and technological cooperation and strengthen cooperation on energy saving, emission reduction, environmental protection, climate change and technological innovation.
The two will also deepen cooperation on product quality and food safety in effort to safeguard the basic interests of the two peoples, and will promote people-to-people communication and youth exchange, according to the two leaders.
Wen briefed Barroso on the recent situation in Tibet and the government's position on the issue.
"As Premier Wen just said, we had also an open and frank exchange of views on Tibet ... I have first confirmed that the EU is attached to the territorial integrity and unity of China and this naturally applies to Tibet."
Barroso voiced his objection to boycotting the Beijing Olympic Games, saying "the Olympics must be a celebration for the youth of the world and that it must be a success".
The Lisbon native arrived here on Thursday as guest of Wen. This was his fourth visit to China since he took office in November 2004.
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