Press release

AFR Fifth EU-China Summit


The fifth EU-China Summit took place in Copenhagen on 24 September 2002. Attached is the joint press statement, which was adopted by the summit.

Joint Press Statement of the Fifth EU-China Summit

The fifth Summit meeting between the European Union and China was held in Copenhagen on 24 September 2002. Premier Zhu Rongji of the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark in his capacity as President of the European Council, and the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi attended the Summit.

The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Tang Jiaxuan, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation Shi Guangsheng, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Per Stig Møller, the European Commissioner for External Relations Christopher Patten and the European Commissioner for Trade Pascal Lamy participated in the Summit.

Leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on EU-China relations and international and regional issues of common interest. They welcomed the progress made since the last Summit meeting in Brussels in September 2001 and expressed their satisfaction with the positive results of this Summit meeting. They stressed their resolve to expand and deepen further EU-China co-operation in all areas on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and to promote the development of a comprehensive partnership between the EU and China.

The two sides briefed each other on developments in the EU and China, with a particular emphasis on the EU integration and enlargement process, the implementation of China's on-going economic and social reform, particularly in light of China’s recent accession to WTO, and the forthcoming 16th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

Leaders welcomed the recent strengthening of the EU-China political dialogue.

Leaders reaffirmed EU and China's strong commitment to promoting peace, security and sustainable development throughout the world. They expressed concern about the destabilising effect of regional conflicts and agreed to continue supporting, in particular, the reconciliation process in the Korean peninsula as well as the peace process in the Middle East. Special attention was also given to developments in Afghanistan and the relations between India and Pakistan.

The EU side reaffirmed that it would continue to adhere to the one China principle and hoped for a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question through constructive dialogue. The EU side took note of recent developments across the Taiwan Straits, as briefed by the Chinese side. The Chinese side appreciated the EU's commitment to the one China principle and reiterated its principled position on the settlement of the Taiwan question in accordance with the basic principle of “peaceful reunification and one country, two systems”.

The two sides agreed to continue their dialogue on human rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect and reconfirmed their commitment to work towards achieving meaningful and positive results. Furthermore, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to respect international human rights standards and to co-operate fully with UN human rights mechanisms. They welcomed the recent developments in bilateral project co-operation, in particular with respect to the establishment of an EU-China academic network related to the ratification and implementation of the UN covenants on human rights. They also welcomed the successful establishment of the Human Rights Small Project Facility, as well as steps towards closer co-operation between European and Chinese non-governmental organisations and academic institutions. The two sides confirmed their ambition of further enhancing co-operation in the field of human rights.

Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to multilateral non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament and emphasised the importance of strengthening the bilateral dialogue on these issues. The two sides considered fight against terrorism as an issue of common concern, which would require a higher degree of co-ordination and co-operation. Leaders stressed the importance of the continued full play of the United Nations' leading role in counter-terrorism and of universal implementation of the international counter-terrorism conventions and relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Leaders agreed that in the aftermath of September 11th it was more important than ever to improve international co-operation and co-ordination in a spirit of mutual trust, benefit and equality, and to address the challenges of development and peaceful resolution of disputes. In this context, the EU side noted with interest China’s “new security concept”.

Leaders emphasised the need to enhance co-operation in facing trans-national challenges. In line with the consensus reached between the Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and Commission President Prodi in July 2000, Leaders stressed the importance of EU-China co-operation to combat illegal migration and trafficking in human beings. Leaders took note of the progress made in this field and reiterated their commitment to further deepen this co-operation, notably by encouraging further collaboration between relevant departments in Europe and China. The EU side expressed the hope to open soon exploratory discussions on a possible readmission agreement. Leaders stressed the importance of promoting people-to-people contacts between China and the EU, in particular through an increased number of visits by organised travel groups of Chinese citizens to Europe. To achieve this objective, they instructed their officials to pursue discussions on an agreed destination status for the EU, with a view to rapidly negotiating a bilateral agreement in this area. The EU side expressed the view that this agreement would also take into account the issue of returns. The Chinese side expressed the need for the competent authorities of the two sides to increase their communication.

Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to environmental issues and endeavoured to expand the dialogue, which had been initiated at the time of the last bilateral Summit in Brussels in September 2001. They acknowledged the progress, which had been achieved since then, and in particular in the framework of ASEM. Both sides stressed the importance they attach to the work carried out at the World Summit on Sustainable Development recently held in Johannesburg and endeavoured to co-operate closely, with a view to make its follow-up a success. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as the Kyoto Protocol as the framework for international co-operation on this issue and stressed the importance of the latter's early entry into force.

The two sides expressed their satisfaction with China's accession to the WTO, and their belief that this will be to the mutual benefit of China and all its WTO partners. The Chinese side reiterated that it would, while enjoying its full rights in the multilateral trading system, fully implement its commitments. The EU side re-affirmed its will to continue and intensify its efforts to support China in this, both through co-operation programmes and through dialogue in key areas, including on how to ensure an appropriate degree of transparency.

The two sides affirmed their shared interest in strengthening the multilateral trading system, and, in particular, their commitment to a successful conclusion of the multilateral trade negotiations of the Doha Development Agenda. They pledged to intensify their dialogue in this sphere and to work together for an ambitious result that fulfilled the expectations of all WTO members. In particular, they would consult with each other and with other WTO members to ensure respect of the deadlines foreseen in the Doha Ministerial Declarations and Decisions and to prepare a successful 5th WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico, in September 2003.

Leaders welcomed the continued growth in EU-China trade and agreed to exert further efforts to expand it. They stressed the importance of foreign direct investment and the need for investment flows in both directions to increase further. Leaders expressed the wish to resolve recent food and consumer safety problems as quickly as possible, to open the way for more fruitful co-operation on sanitary and phytosanitary issues.

Leaders welcomed the progress achieved in the field of transport, and, in particular, the forthcoming signature of an EU-China maritime transport agreement. Leaders welcomed that both sides had started specific co-operation activities in the area of satellite navigation and expressed their intention to discuss the possibility of future co-operation in the framework of the recently launched Galileo programme. The two sides expressed their satisfaction with progress in EU-China scientific and technological co-operation and for its expansion under the EU's 6th Framework Programme on research and technological development (2002-2006).

The two sides expressed hope for a rapid conclusion of a customs co-operation agreement. Leaders stressed the importance of strengthening and expanding sectoral dialogues on a wide range of issues, including information society, enterprise policy and education.