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Remarks by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, following the 14th EU-China Summit

February 17, 2012

EUCO 27/12 1
Beijing, 14 February 2012
EUCO 27/12
Remarks by Herman Van Rompuy,
President of the European Council,
following the 14th EU-China Summit
I am very happy to be here today for the 14th Summit between the EU and China. My
second Summit with Premier Wen and my second visit to China since I took office, after
my trip last May.
Today, we had a rich and constructive discussion with Premier Wen. We share a common
determination to move the EU-China relationship forward. Our strategic partnership is a
key element for the global architecture.
The EU and China have entered definitely into the age of inter-dependence. What happens
in Europe’s growth affects China and vice versa. Our objective is to continue to turn our
growing inter-dependence into mutual opportunities.
In this context we have explained the major reforms undertaken by the euro area to deal
with the euro area sovereign debt crisis, to preserve the stability of the euro zone and to
promote a jobs-friendly economic growth. I stressed how euro area Leaders are fully
committed to solve the current situation.
I pay tribute to the leadership of the Greek government and the political parties supporting
it. Implementing will be key. The Ministers of Finance of the Eurogroup will take the
necessary measures.
We welcome the positive attitude and engagement. China, and Premier Wen himself, has
taken publicly stance towards the stability of the euro and the eurozone. We also welcome
China's readiness to enhance our consultation and cooperation on the stability of the
EUCO 27/12 2
With Premier Wen we reaffirmed that trade is a key component for our economic relations.
The EU remains China’s biggest trading partner, and China is now close to becoming the
EU’s largest trading partner as well. The value of our trade is more than 1 billion euro a
day. We discussed how to promote and rebalance our trade relations further. I have
repeatedly stressed the need for a level playing field for European businesses, including
better market access for European companies, the protection of investments and
intellectual property, and our concerns about protectionism. With Premier Wen we agreed
on the need to promote more investment in both directions.
But economic growth and jobs creation depend also on other key factors beyond trade.
Both the EU and China have long term strategies focusing on Innovation, Research and
Technology, Energy, the Internet. We agreed to work further on these areas. We have also
launched a Partnership for Urbanisation to pool expertise now that China has reached the
symbolic moment where Chinese urban population exceeds the rural population for the
first time.
We supported the results of our dialogue on Foreign and Security issues and encouraged to
make further progress.
With Premier Wen we decided that - the EU and China will have a new "People to People
Dialogue", the third pillar of our partnership, in addition to economy and security
dialogues. China lifted hundreds of million people from poverty in one generation. This is
widely recognised and highly appreciated in Europe both by politicians and our public
opinions. But as partner and a friend of China I have also expressed to him the serious
concerns Europeans have for these achievements to be accompanied by similar progress in
respecting universal human rights and the rule of Law. Our bilateral Human Rights
Dialogue – which I asked to be held soon- provides an appropriate channel for discussions
on these issues.
The co-operation between the EU and China expands beyond the bilateral sphere. Against
this background, we addressed some of the regional ahead of us as well.
In particular, I shared with Premier Wen our deep concern on the Iranian nuclear
programme, and I explained him that our actions and sanctions are aimed to bring Tehran

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