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China, EU to enhance cooperation on urbanization

Updated: Nov 22,2013 2:11 PM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang addresses the closing ceremony of 2013 EU-China Urbanisation Partnership Forum in Beijing, capital of China, Nov 21, 2013. [Photo by Pang Xinglei/Xinhua]

BEIJING -- China is willing to learn from the European Union (EU) in its push towards urbanization, Premier Li Keqiang said on Nov 21.

Li addressed the closing ceremony of the 2013 China-EU Urbanization Partnership Forum on Nov 21, saying that the country will respect and protect the rights of rural people, and strive for sustainable urbanization.

The premier urged China and the EU to deepen cooperation in many aspects, especially among enterprises, to jointly improve city design, public services and historical and cultural relic preservation.

China has just started pushing urbanization with a core objective of improving people’s living standards, which means learning from the EU’s rich experience, said Xu Shaoshi, minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission.

He said that the EU could help China urbanize, which will provide the EU with many opportunities as hundreds of millions of rural Chinese head for cities.

“China expects more EU countries, cities, enterprises and organizations to establish close and practical partnerships with Chinese counterparts,” Xu said.

He suggested both sides explore capital and policy support to reflect the partnership in specific cities and projects.

“The pursuit of smart, green, low-carbon development represents the new trend which will steer China’s urbanization,” Xu said.

The forum witnessed agreements reached between 12 Chinese and EU cities and organizations for win-win benefits in city planning and management, industrial transformation and environmental protection.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso also attended the forum’s closing ceremony.